When Movie Marketing Goes Wrong: Dead Blackbird Edition

By Kiran Aditham 

The news media, sites like HuffPo and even conspiracy theorists including Alex Jones have been abuzz after it was reported that thousands of dead blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas over the weekend. Well, if one report is true, it turns out there was no mass government testing on birds, nor were the animals’ deaths caused by lightning or poison. According to something called the Bennington Vale Evening Transcript, the dead birds were a result of a failed stunt to promote the upcoming remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, The Birds. Trust me, we’re still thinking this is a weak attempt at mimicking an Onion story.

Anyway, though the film won’t be out until 2013, the studio decided to get a head start on its promotion, only of course it bombed spectacularly and the inhabitants of Beebe, AK were the hapless victims. A studio exec, perhaps cowering in fear in some bunker somewhere in the aftermath, tells the BVET, “The stunt was a gross miscalculation. We were trying to help get audiences interested in the remake with a small scare. Unfortunately, the planes dropped the birds over Arkansas instead of Northern California where our marketing crews were waiting to hand out movie posters and swag bags.”

The Governor’s office in Arkansas is promising legal action against the studio for this failed piece of guerilla marketing, which further makes the case that Hollywood should end this remake plague and come up with some new ideas already.