Over at Washington Monthly, Political Animal Kevin Drum (who normally posts about, uh, politics) wonders about the effectiveness of the online marketing campaign supporting this Friday's release of SERENITY, the feature film directing debut of Joss Whedon (creator of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER). But more importantly, he ponders on the subject of how easy it is to get bloggers to sell out:
I'll confess to a certain amount of curiosity about whether the extensive blog marketing campaign for SERENITY actually works[...]. However, what I'm really struck by is the fact that bloggers can apparently be bought so cheaply. I mean, a free movie ticket? That's what, ten bucks? Sheesh.
This is one of those funny situations where a combination of indifference and carelessness prevented me from jumping on the promotional bandwagon, so now I can act as if I had some integrity and didn't "sell out" for the price of a free ticket.
I did get a garbled e-mail from Universal Pictures' publicity department, asking me if I wanted to host a giveaway (of hats, books and t-shirts), and from the context, it sounded as if there was a preview screening I could attend, but this wasn't not entirely clear and I never bothered to respond for a clarification. Maybe I should have, because the film does not look like one I would want to pay to see.
At any rate, what caught my attention was the fact that free tickets were being given away at www.talkingpointsmemo.com, a weblog (like Kevin Drum's) that is normally devoted to politics, not entertainment. It just seems odd that these serious political analysts would jump all over an opportunity to promote a film that (judging from the trailer) looks like exactly what it is: a television show (originally titled FIREFLY) that somehow escaped to the big screen.
Fair warning: Next up, Universal is releasing DOOM, which will apparently receive a similar promotional push on the Internet. Maybe this time I'll try to get in on the action.