If only this had existed in Andy Stitzer‘s day. To drum up publicity for its Sept. 10th comedy, The Virginity Hit, Sony Pictures has plastered the nation with provocative billboards that read “Still a Virgin? For Help Call 888-743-4335 toll free” (pictured, at left). According to Deadline, the guerrilla campaign has ticked off some “local politicians” in Louisiana, Miami, San Diego, and Arizona, who are now demanding the studio remove the ads. If this is indeed true, I suppose I can understand how the cheeky billboards might catch some people off guard. If you’re driving along, you most likely don’t have time to see the Columbia Pictures logo in the bottom right hand corner and R-rating box in the bottom left, and therefore wouldn’t realize that it was a big ole ad for an upcoming movie about teenagers trying to get their friend laid. (The Virginity Hit, by the way, is produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy, partners in Gary Sanchez Productions.) Then again, maybe you’d spot “thevirginityhit.com” and get an inkling that this wasn’t some prurient lure for folks who’ve yet to get it on. (The url is obscured by the lights in the picture here, but it’s pretty prominent in other photos out there.)
In case you’re wondering, the advertised number is a working one. If you call it, you’ll be greeted by “Zack,” or Zack Pearlman, one of The Virginity Hit‘s stars. What does he say? “Press 1 if you’re a virgin, press 2 if you’re friends with a virgin and want to help, press 3 if you don’t know if you’re a virgin or not,” etc. It’s pretty innocuous and silly.
What do you think of Sony Picture’s “controversial” ad campaign? Is this much ado about nothing? Have you personally spotted the billboards? How many of you have called the “virgin hotline”? Tell the truth. We won’t judge.