Congratulations, corporate Hollywood! You finally got the hang of 21st-century guerilla marketing.
Over the past few days, foot soldiers for CBS Films have apparently been hanging up ads for its latest film Seven Psychopaths all over L.A., in the form of lost-dog flyers — making them so inherently awesome that we either don't think they're ads or don't really care, then laying low while the Twittersphere does the legwork.
And some in-character Woody Harrelson can't hurt:
“Look at this dog,” reads the flyer, which features a giant photo of Harrelson, his OG mean mug melting with puppy love, and a fussy little male Shih Tzu named Bonny. “Look at this beautiful f#©cking perfect dog.”
Harrelson calls himself Charlie Costello, which is of course his character in Psychopaths, a Los Angeles gangster who — true to the lost-dog flyers — gets his bestie stolen by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. (God, we wish this were real.)
The phone number posted on the flyer even connects to an angry Woody Harrelson voicemail:
“Yeah, its Charlie. Now shut up and listen. Leave any info you have about my lost dog Bonny after the beep. Bonny means more to me than anything, so don't fuck with me. I don't like when people fuck with me, so just don't do it. If you are the dognappers, please leave your address and say your fucking prayers.”
In the meat of the flyer, Costello writes that dear Bonny has a heart “as big as a lion.” (Which must explain why he loves the little fellow “MORE THAN MY GIRLFRIEND.” Heh.) As the story goes, Bonny was stolen near the La Brea Tar Pits, and Costello “will become very, very upset” if he is not returned soon.
The film's marketing tactics are sure to be an instant hit with the real-life neighbors of Los Angeles, who lord knows love to walk the line between film set and reality — and who lord knows love themselves a nappy little yapper like Bonny. Honestly, in a city where Daryl Hannah is at the front line of every environmental protest and Jackie Fox makes anti-megamansion videos in her bathrobe, Woody Harrelson crusading for his lost Shih Tzu isn't the most far-fetched neighborhood drama in the world. (See also: “Chyna Has Been Stalking a Poodle Thief on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.”)
“We do have something to do with that,” CBS Films spokesman Grey Munford says of the campaign. But he says he must “stay mum” on exactly who is manning Costello's very active Twitter account (best job ever), and where the street yarn may head from here.
OK, so we're totally just plugging the movie at this point. But hey — credit where credit is due. And Tom Waits is in it, which automatically smothers any corporate aspect in impermeable cool.