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Hot Ticket

Great moments in movie marketing:

The students at The Art Institute of Washington D.C. have created an exciting advertising campaign to help promote THE SPIRIT.  Having to overcome heightened city restrictions due to the political security in their town, the team reached out to the local parking administration to get the OK to flier cars.  Their fliers are not average fliers: they have created fake "parking citations" to really draw the attention of the recipient.  These citations mimic actual parking citations of Washington D.C. on the cover, yet on the inside reveal special tasks issued by THE SPIRIT to promote the safety and protection of Washington D.C. The citation interior also mirrors an actual citation, yet the usual "violations" (such as an expired parking meter) are replaced with tasks assigned by THE SPIRIT.  "Protect against those who may disrespect the city" and "Protect against those that may steal from others" are just some of the tasks which THE SPIRIT has asked the community of Washington D.C. to help out with.  The "small print" of the ticket includes a brief notice about the faux citation, emphasizing the importance of protecting one's own city as THE SPIRIT does for Central City. The students have organized themselves into six teams to cover six different geographical areas of Washington D.C targeting areas with parked cars. 
On Friday, September 19th and Saturday, September 20th, the students dressed in their self-designed THE SPIRIT t-shirts (black shirts with a red flowing tie) will spend the day distributing the 5-10,000 citations in the city. 

I was not myself one of the lucky 5-10,000 this weekend. But I suspect that many of the motorists who did return to their vehicles to discover an unearned ticket on the windshield and experienced the corollary emotions (according to temperament: disappointment, frustration, or blind rage), only to discover in the "fine print" that it was a movie promo, may have emerged from the experience with something other than amusement and an augmented desire to go see The Spirit. Just a guess. 

Update: On the plus side, I guess this beats a marketing strategy of pulling over motorists, dragging them from their cars, handcuffing them on unstated charges, stuffing them in the back seats of police cruisers, and driving them off to--surprise!--special screenings of The Spirit. So we have that to be grateful for. 

Christopher Orr