Remember that incident a few months back involving the city of Boston and a marketing idea gone wrong? In case you're totally oblivious or have a bad memory, it consisted of a silly stunt to promote Aqua Teen Hunger Force that accidentally caused a terror alert. In the end, the mistake resulted in two men facing felony hoax charges, the head of Cartoon Network resigning, Turner Broadcasting paying out $2 million in restitution and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino hating the surreal animated series forever. Unfortunately for Menino, the cinematic spin-off of the series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, opens this Friday around the country, including in two theaters in his city. Menino has made attempts to convince these locations to boycott the film, "out of respect to the people of Boston," but obviously the theaters are not willing to meet his demands. The thing Menino doesn't appear to realize, which doesn't take an expert in marketing communication to point out (though the Boston Herald quotes one, just to go with an official perspective), that any negative attention he can give the movie will help in its appeal.
In unrelated news, Menino has also attacked the marketing of another film this week. He has ordered the removal of advertisements for Fracture, which contain written in big letters the phrase "I Shot My Wife" superimposed over Anthony Hopkins' face. The fifty posters, which are part of a reported $52,000 ad campaign, have been on display in bus shelters for nearly a month, and apparently they have caused a lot of complaints. A statement from the mayor's office claimed the ads promoted a negative and violent message, which makes me wonder what Menino would have thought if Boston had been included in the controversial campaign for Captivity. He might have gone and banned all movie marketing within city limits for good. Well, except for maybe those promoting seemingly harmless Tim Allen comedies. After all, in case anyone thinks that the mayor has a thing against Hollywood in general, recall how much love he showed to Wild Hogs last month.