Want To Know Who Sarah Marshall Is?

James T. Berger headshot

James T. Berger
Senior Marketing Writer

Published April 1, 2008

Signs are displayed on buses, taxis billboards all over the country. They are written in black-on-white graffiti and say things like: “I’m so over you Sarah Marshall or “My mom always hated you Sarah Marshall?”

Who is Sarah Marshall and what’s this all about? It is a remarkable and widespread tease campaign to publicize the new Universal Picture movie, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” due in movie theaters around mid-April. You can learn more by visiting www.ihatesarahmarshall.com. The plot centers on a TV composer, who does his best to defame the attractive Sarah after she dumped him for a British rock musician.

The teaser campaign is memorable. It includes a huge off-line effort with the bus and taxi signs along with a major presence on the Web that includes the movie site, the “I hate” site and another Sarah Marshall fan site. It’s really more than just a teaser campaign it is part of the story.
Tessa Wegert, writing in ClickZ, the on-line Web site, says: “What’s nice about this marketing effort is that it is a teaser campaign with a purpose. The ads reflect the film’s plot and provide more of a consumer payoff once the advertiser is uncovered.”

This teaser campaign can be compared with other notable efforts such as “The Blair Witch Project” and “Swordfish.”

More on the “Recession: Opportunity

Kevin Lee, writing in the March 28, Clickz, talks about the upcoming – or is it here already – recession as it applies to companie doing Internet advertising. This category of advertising is referred to as PPC (Pay per click.)

Lee believes the foolish marketers will cut their PPC search budgets “allowing competitors to swoop in and grad market share and profit.”

Taking the offense, Lee writes: “Other marketers may have the opposite reaction (to recession) and allocate both a greater share and larger over-all budget to the media famous for high conversion and effectiveness – PPC search – even as over-all marketing budgets shrink. Online media and search are among the most measurable of all media, and search is particularly good at capturing late-stage buyers where conversion can be most easily measured, If this happens, regardless of what your CMOs (chief marketing officers) have been advocating, you need to be ready to fight.”

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About The Author

James T. Berger headshot
James T. Berger, Senior Marketing Writer of The Wiglaf Journal, through his Northbrook-based firm, James T. Berger/Market Strategies, offers a broad range of marketing communications, research and strategic planning consulting services. In addition, he provides expert services to intellectual property attorneys in the area of trademark infringement litigation. An adjunct professor of marketing at Roosevelt University, he previously has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago and The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BA), Northwestern University (MS) and the University of Chicago (MBA). Berger is an often-published free lance business writer who has developed more than 100 published articles in the last eight years. For more information, visit www.jamesberger.net or telephone him at (847) 328-9633.