There are good viral campaigns and bad viral campaigns — and then there are videos where you can’t even figure out if it really is a viral campaign. Today’s example: Do Not [email protected]$% With Vin Diesel.
This alleged viral ad for the film Babylon A.D. is popping up on an assortment of lower-tier film blogs, including Twitch and Film School Rejects. Each site is hosting its own upload of the video, claiming to have an exclusive. But is this actually connected to the film?
Warning: Video contains NSFW language
Despite the video ending with Babylon A.D. in big letters, there’s no proof that this is an official tie-in — there’s no cross-promotion on the official Babylon A.D. web site, no official host site. The under-the-radar distribution resembles Juntoons, the maaaaaybe-official viral marketing campaign for Juno, which was a Fox Searchlight project (and 20th Century Fox is the primary U.S. producer/distributor for Babylon A.D.). But I honestly find it more likely that the piece is a spec ad produced by someone unconnected to the film, hoping to parlay any success achieved into future viral advertising work.
And tonally, the clip doesn’t match at all with Babylon A.D., an dour sci-fi action epic that resembles Children of Men with ‘roid rage — here, instead of saving pregnant women, an animated Vin Diesel spends two minutes punching his way through the stars of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. Cheap Flash animation ties together bad Harrison Ford impersonations with reconstituted clips of Diesel dialogue — it’s a mixed bag overall, especially if you can barely remember that a new Hulk movie came out this summer. The only way in which this clip relates to Babylon A.D. is its reaffirmation of Vin Diesel’s bad-ass nature. But is there anyone who really needed to be reminded? (Well, perhaps anyone who saw Find Me Guilty, maybe.)
If one of the film’s seven distributors funded this campaign, no wonder they’re trying to bury it. And if someone unconnected did create this piece, hoping to strike some viral gold, well… Better luck next time.