Look, I hate prank-vertising. Viral marketing, practical jokes to promote a product, improv in the grocery store – all of it. The last thing people need while we’re just trying to go about our business is to be bombarded with even more advertising, especially the Trojan Horse kind that slowly inoculates the populace against ever again feeling genuine spontaneity. On that note, Universal, who is distributing Ouija – that is, the Michael Bay’s production company-produced take on the royalty-free board game – hired a marketing firm called Thinkmodo (barf), they of the infamous Carrie prank, to promote their movie in the hippest most web 2.0 guerrilla viral disrupt flash mob manner.
Basically, they hired a lady who can do that thing where she bugs out her eyes and set her up as a fake fortune teller (redundant?) in Brooklyn. She’d slowly spell out “R-U-N” on an Ouija board, then shout “RUN!” while doing that bug eye thing, in case the person couldn’t spell. Which I guess is better in theory than other prankvertising, since at least in seeking out a fortune teller, the people were in some way asking for it. In practice, she’d scream, they’d scream, we’d all scream for our eardrums, and it was actually the perfect promotion for a Platinum Dunes horror movie, since the idea of “scary” involved someone shrieking in your ear for five minutes followed by marketing douchebags high fiving each other for an hour.
“Get it, bro? The Ouija board will spell out ‘RUN’ and then she’ll yell ‘RUN!'”
“Bro, that’s brilliant. …Should we kiss now?”