Guerilla marketing at the cinema

Our local cinema has taken pre-film advertising to the next level. After handouts of bread last month, now they’ve started with live-action commercials.

There I was on Saturday evening, waiting for Spider-Man 2 to start, when the house lights went up after the main commercials had ended. I heard some voices at the rear of the the theatre, and for a moment I thought there was some kind of technical fault, and that we were all going to be ushered out into the rain. But it was just two guys starting up their act.

One was dressed in a set of full-body white coveralls, and the other was dressed in Hollywood casual, with a baseball cap and a clipboard. They proceeded down the aisle and in front of the screen with a little sketch about a director and a stunt man. The stunt man was objecting to being set on fire and having to run about like crazy. He was happy enough to be torched, but he was feeling low on energy, and his contract had said nothing about any running.

The commercial turned out to be for Lucozade (a British energy drink), to tie in with their big summer promotion: buy a bottle of Lucozade, and win the chance to go to Pinewood Studios and be a stunt man for a day. Woo hoo.

I suppose that with the Festival just around the corner, the streets of Edinburgh are littered with actors and comedians, many of whom won’t be making much bank, and, well… you’ve got to make ends meet somehow. I wonder what other oddities the Fringe will throw up this year?