Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Abduction, Confinement, Torture, Termination, Complaints, Removal

A rather neat series of billboard ads for Captivity have caused a little bit of fuss. If you're in LA, rush out and see them now - they'll all be gone by 2pm today. If you're in New York, the taxi-top equivalents should last to around that time too, so take a look at what you're hailing.

The ad is comprised of four images, each one depicting a stage in a young woman's captivity, as it were: abduction, confinement, torture, termination. Elisha Cuthbert appears in the role of 'young woman'.

The Hollywood Reporter claim that the MPAA have denied approving the ad; as a result, they may deny the film a certificate, by means of punishment. This could make it very, very hard for the film to get booked into cinemas - certainly the chain cinemas which comprise 'something like' 99.9% of screens in America. Somehow, I doubt the MPAA will exercise this power and kill the film in this way, but they certainly could.

There's more bad news in the same piece - the CEO of the film's production company is quoted as saying "this movie is certainly a horror movie and it's about abduction, but it's also about female empowerment. We reshot the ending so the main character ends up in as much of a positive situation as the situation could allow" which, essentially, means they tacked on a happy ending. Shameful.

The ads were created by Art Machine Digital, who are also behind that delicious Hostel 2 slab of meat. In fact, they're a pretty strong agency with a lot of memorable work under their belt and I hope they're proud of this one - it sounds quite effective to me.

Please send me any images of the billboard you find online.

[EDIT: Anonymous directed me to the image above, and Sandra has some pics of the board in situ at her blog. Thank you both very much]


Anonymous said...

I found an image of the billboards on a myspace page here:


Actually, the piece doesn't seem inappropriate at all. It's pretty tasteful in fact. Surely the people complaining about this have seen more gruesome photos.

Sandra said...

Hi Brendan,
Some images here

Anonymous said...

It's a great image for children to see, riding along Pico on the way to the lot.

All in all, a very well thought out campaign.

It doesn't overreach at all!

Remember, outdoor advertising is the sole playground of moviefreaks, cool-ass marketing types and people without children.

I'm thinking next time, we can show an artful, image of a woman being raped, then dumped in a hole. Don't worry - it'll all LOOK great.

(Sarcasm aside, this is a great blog Brendon, we love it here in LA)