A few weeks ago, I saw the first trailer for an upcoming Vince Vaughn comedy called Unfinished Business. I’m pretty plugged in to the movie world and I had never heard of this film before. The trailer looked pretty God awful. While I’m excited to see Vaughn in the upcoming second season of True Detectives, his comedy career is on the rocks and with an early March release, I figured even the presence of the ever-charming Dave Franco couldn’t save this stinker.
And the film may still turn out to be horrible. Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t have any reviews up yet. But today Fox pulled a genius marketing stunt. It released a series of stock photo featuring the cast of Unfinished Business.
A stock photo with the ‘Unfinished Business’ cast.
The movie is about a business trip gone wrong and it is centrally focused on the life of businessmen. While it’s unlikely to be an Office Space-level workplace parody, the photos show that the filmmakers (or film marketers) have a very clear idea of what they’re spoofing. Stock photos are used in tons of articles and slideshows everywhere on the Internet. The photos set in offices can be particularly painful. They’re the quick and easy way to illustrate a story with generic-looking people doing generic-looking things. While there has been some attempt to bring diversity to stock photos, they’re still pretty much the white bread of Internet photos – just as useful and just as boring.
The Unfinished Business photos are almost a little too on the nose. You can see them all here. While Vaughn is quietly mugging it up, he costars are taking their photos a bit more seriously. And that’s pretty funny.
The photos are available for free for media use and over the next few days, you’ll see them everywhere as bloggers like me publish the photos while writing about the marketing campaign. Mea culpa if you end up going to see this movie and it’s horrible.
But you’ve got to hand it to a good marketing campaign. Anything that helps a film stand out these days and ignites some kind of discussion is a job well done. Prometheus had a similarly outside-the-box promotional campaign with its Ted talk from the future. In my opinion, that stunt was better than the movie and I suspect it will be the same case here. Unfinished Business hits theaters Friday.
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