Back on Wednesday, while we were waiting for all those Captivity billboards featuring Elisha Cuthbert's best work since those unauthorized Vegas escort handbills to come down as promised (how's that going, by the way?), we killed some time by speculating about the next AfterDark Films ad idea likely to draw totally unwanted and unanticipated attention to a small project with a limited promotional budget. Today, THR notes that the studio's lighthearted "Suicide, Don't Do It!" campaign for dark comedy Wristcutters: A Love Story, featuring awareness-raising signage displaying everyone's favorite acts of self-negation, has predictably run afoul of the the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Publicity-shunning AfterDark CEO Courtney Solomon responds:
But Courtney Solomon, co-owner of After Dark Films, said the posters will be displayed as traffic-style stop or yield signs with a bar and circle over the illustrations, along with hearts to reference the film's romantic story line. He said the campaign may change before its mid-July rollout.
"The movie takes place in purgatory, and its message is that love is better than suicide," Solomon said, adding that the film may even help prevent suicide.
"Our job is to get people into the theater in a way that's accessible to them. There are many different ways to skin a cat. God forbid someone was considering committing suicide. This film may change their opinion."
A reasonable enough argument given the film's love-triumphs-over-all story, to be sure—had Solomon not already played the, "Sure, the ads are a tacky, obvious publicity grab meant to drum up outrage and free media attention, but our film has an ultimately positive message!" card by trying to sell low-budget Cuthbertsploitation flick Captivity as an inspirational film about female-empowerment. As much as we might want to agree with him about the Wristcutters situation, we're put in the position of suspecting that the next phase of the campaign involves advertising a fake suicide hotline whose only life-saving advice involves sending callers with persistent suicidal ideation to their closest theater for some immediate independent movie therapy.
- Suicide comedy ad campaign painful for groups [Reuters/THR]
- Previously: Offensive BillboardWatch: Coming Ad-Removal Attractions Edition [Defamer]