In These Modern Times, it’s no longer enough to simply make a trailer for your movie. You’ve got to plan an elaborate public stunt designed to fool people into believing that telekinesis is real, or create a fake conspiracy theory about how one of your film’s main players shot JFK, or garner $20 million worth of free advertising by having your star shoot 70 different car commercials, co-host the Canadian Olympic curling trials, and give college journalism students faux-important career advice, all without breaking character.
Comparatively, then, the latest trailer for Muppets Most Wanted — which comes complete with a “viral” marketing campaign of its own — seems tame. The spot highlights the “critics and audiences across the Internet” who “can’t stop talking about the upcoming movie Muppets Most Wanted.” It even features tweets from three of these boosters, who write about the movie with varying levels of enthusiasm: fuzzyben4375, poppafreshness, and ihearthorses214.
Those accounts, however, seem an awful lot like they were created specifically so that their tweets could be featured in the ads. Each appeared on Twitter Jan. 3 and has tweeted only 7-9 times, mostly about the Muppets. What’s more, the eight Twitter handles that flash onscreen at the beginning of the ad appear to be fakes as well; one of them, kermitrules17, even lists “his” “real” name as Robin Tadsmire, a reference to Kermit’s nephew Robin the Frog. It’s unclear whether the account is supposed to showcase in-character tweets from Robin, or whether it’s a fake account by a fake person who’s impersonating (im-frog-ating?) Robin. Either way, the Inception sound should totally play after you read it.
So yeah: Muppets Most Wanted! March 21, 2014! Tweet about how much you want to see it, and maybe Disney can cut out the middleman the next time it wants to highlight social media in a trailer.