Completely offensive, extremely controversial, and unbelievably hilarious, the Borat movie has officially become a cultural phenomenon. And with reports of lawsuits from unwitting cast members popping up on The Smoking Gun and elsewhere, the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is proving to be true. The controversy has helped push the film to #1 at the box office for two weeks running.
But that success has also been helped by a new twist on the viral marketing approach. Released to the masses on November 3rd, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was one of the first movies to rely heavily on the MySpace ‘Black Carpet’ approach to advertising. The ‘Black Carpet’ is a movie marketing system that simply invites a small group of MySpacers to view screenings of an unreleased movie and relies upon word of mouth from there.
Judging by the trended people visits to Borat’s official MySpace page, it is safe to say that this advertising campaign worked.
But will there be a Borat backlash? The cast member shown on The Smoking Gun is not the only angered person who was featured in this mockumentary. The town of Glod, Romania is also suing the film makers for misrepresentation as they were tricked into being in the comedy thinking that it was a documentary highlighting their impoverished living state. Maybe Sacha Baron Cohen can use some of the wealth he’s earned to do the right thing for the people of Glod.
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