No, I haven’t seen it yet. I think I’m one of the 3 bloggers in the blogosphere who hasn’t. Got my tickets for tomorrow, though.

It sounds as though Universal’s marketing ploy has paid off in a big way; their free blogger previews have generated a tremendous amount of grass-roots internet buzz for the film. It’s worth noting that one of the things that separates their approach from previous lame astro-turfing internet publicity attempts is that Universal respected the intelligence and judgement of their audience. They believed they had a good product and that people who saw it would identify it as such. Because of that they were willing to preview the film without attaching strings, and because of that they obtained that most precious of PR commodities: widespread positive word-of-mouth.

This is an illustration of the way capitalism is supposed to work. You make the best product you can, and you market it on its merits in the confidence that consumers will identify and prefer quality. So, well done Universal.

The really interesting question is what will happen when another studio tries to repeat this maneuver with a movie of lesser quality. Positive word of mouth is like gold; negative word of mouth is like lead. I expect we’ll find out in fairly short order.

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