In a July 28 piece at the Wall Street Journal (of all places) Ethan Smith and Sabrina Shankman point out a strange marketing tactic employed by 20th Century Fox in promotion of the recent box-office failure I Love You Beth Cooper, one of only three films to earn the illustrious “F” grade from me this year and easily the worst I have seen. As it turns out, Fox hired 18-year-old Kenya Mejia to close her valedictory address at Los Angeles’s Alexander Hamilton High School in much the same way as the lead protagonist in I Love You Beth Cooper so it could be caught on camera, uploaded to YouTube and cause the next Internet sensation.
Mejia was paid $1,800 to say, “Finally, I was recently watching the trailers for the upcoming movie I Love You Beth Cooper about a valedictorian who confesses his love for the most popular girl in school during his graduation speech and this inspired me to make a confession of my own. Given that this is the last day of high school and not knowing what can happen, I cannot let this opportunity just pass by. So here it goes… I love you, Jake Minor!”
At the time of the Wall Street Journal’s publication the video had garnered fewer than 2,000 views and it is now over 11,000 views thanks to the recent news. Give it a watch and see for yourself. Fair or foul? Is this taking marketing too far?
Personally I see nothing wrong with it as much as I just think it was a bit of a stretch to think it would actually work. I am also surprised Mejia did it, but then again $1,800 is $1,800, hard to turn that down for a brief bit of silliness that doesn’t matter whatsoever. After all, it has only made her $1,800 richer as she is already taking summer classes at MIT in physics, chemistry, calculus and humanities in preparation for her freshman year.