For Paramount Pictures, Marketing 9/11 Is No Joke

Turning the greatest domestic tragedy of our time into cold hard cash is no walk in the park. Just ask Dick Cheney! But seriously folks, yesterday’s New York Times told the tale of Paramount Pictures employing WWE-hating morality maven L. Brent Bozell and Creative Response Concepts — the same folks who worked as paid advisers to Swift Boat Veterans For Truth — in their marketing of Oliver Stone’s forthcoming “World Trade Center”.

Rob Moore, president of worldwide marketing, distribution and home entertainment for Paramount, said he would have hired the firm regardless of who had directed the movie, because of its strong elements of Christian faith and its depiction of men sacrificing themselves for one another: “the definition of patriotism,” he said.

That’s not actually a definition of patriotism, but perhaps Moore meant to say “unselfishness”. In any event, Thursday’s Los Angeles Times outlined Paramount’s plans to promote the group to a slightly different demographic.

“Every generation has a defining moment,” says the voice-over of a 30-second TV spot aimed at the under-25 crowd that began airing this week. The melodic “Fix You” by rock group Coldplay plays as the screen goes black and three words appear in stark white letters: “This Was Ours.”

Though that must be one heck of a commercial, it sounds suspiciously like an idea I proposed to Paramount’s marketing department several years ago when we were making plans for the “Brain Candy” soundtrack. Of course, Coldplay didn’t exist at that point, but that’s part of what made the concept so daring for that day and age.

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