So Far, the Funniest Thing About Jennifer Lawrence’s New Comedy Is How Bad Its Marketing Campaign Is
Until a satirical movie about an insurgency group needs advertising, the term “guerilla marketing” should never come up during promotional campaigns for comedy projects.
Viral marketing strategies are inherently a double-edged sword, since their nature as advertisements are intentionally obfuscated and meanings can be lost in translation – for every M3GAN flashmob, there’s an Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare. And don’t get us started on that time when Seth Rogen and The Interview almost started World War III – we’re still not convinced that Kim Jong-un wasn’t in on that one. Now, a Jennifer Lawrence-led project is trying to cash in on some “organic” buzz-building.
If you’ve been browsing Reddit without an adequate ad blocker in the last couple days, you may have seen a suspicious sponsored post by the account /u/DateOurSon requesting serious candidates who are willing to pretend to be romantically interested in a socially awkward teenager in exchange for a rust-free 2004 Buick Regal with 40,000 miles on it. As it turns out, that ad is going to be answered by 32-year-old Lawrence in the upcoming comedy, No Hard Feelings.
“The movie follows Lawrence as a ne’er-do-well who is hired by a rich couple to befriend their socially awkward kid,” reads the description of No Hard Feelings by Deadline. Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti will play said couple according to IMDB, which lists their names as Laird and Allison respectively. When messaged, the email address listed in the advertisement replies with the automated email, “Hiyaa! Thanks for your interest in ‘dating" our son. We have had a lot of responses already, but plan to make our final decision Thursday, March 9th. We'll be in touch soon! Allison & Laird.”
The plot was immediately uncovered by Redditors in a recent post where commenters gawked at the strangeness of the marketing strategy and pointed out the uncomfortable implications of a film in which a woman in her 30s sexually baits a shy teenager. As bizarre as the film’s premise may be, the promotional campaign is even more peculiar in that it requires a full two minutes of digging on the internet for anyone to even figure out what kind of product it’s promoting.
No doubt, the producers of No Hard Feelings will release some trailer or teaser this Thursday that explains the ad to those who couldn’t be bothered to play internet investigator and find out that this isn’t a deeply sad personal ad but instead a deeply weird marketing ploy. But, hey, they got us to talk about it – when No Hard Feelings finally premieres this June, we’ll wistfully remember this ad and think, “Yuck.”