I Love You, Beth Cooper Viral Marketing Backfires


With all our talk about the brilliant viral marketing campaigns for movies like Funny People and District 9, I figured it would only be fair to point out that sometimes viral marketing schemes can also crash and burn. Case in point: this weak attempt at creating online buzz for the movie I Love You, Beth Cooper.

You may recall that the title for the film comes from the main character’s decision to proclaim his love for a girl while delivering his valedictorian speech. Well apparently 20th Century Fox paid an 18-year-old girl $1800 to pull a similar stunt during the Alexander Hamilton High School graduation ceremony in Los Angeles. The idea is that this real and “unscripted” moment would be captured on video, uploaded to YouTube, and then go viral. But that’s not what happened.

The video didn’t catch on, and the movie pretty much bombed. Only now that the movie has almost disappeared from theatres has the viral ad started to get any attention online — unfortunately, it is not the kind of attention they were hoping for. Apparently school officials were none too pleased that their grad ceremony featured a paid ad by a major corporation. The girl’s boyfriend, however, was okay with it. It just goes to show that not all viral campaigns are created equal. Check out the lame video in question after the jump.

  • mrbenning

    Methinks an enterprising marketing agency could have done a better job making/circulating this video themselves for little more than $1800 dollars.


    Companies need to understand that it’s not up to them what becomes viral. No one seems to know this.

  • Maopheus

    That’s the thing with “viral” marketing. You can’t force it, it just kind of happens, which is so opposite from real marketing, which is all about studying tastes, and trends and knowing exactly what works. That’s why you really can’t call it marketing.

  • Big Hungry

    The difference with PR, Viral Marketing and Normal Advertising is that only with Normal Advertising do you really pretty much know what is going to happen when it is released. Also with PR and Viral Marketing it allows another voice to be heard in the end and it is not always good.

  • Why would they have expected that to be interesting? The whole reason the concept behind the movie has any power at all is that the guy is a loser nerd who’s better than his classmates but isn’t respected by them or by the girl he wants. So he does something ballsie. It is relatively ballsie for an outcast guy to declare his love for an in-demand girl in front of everyone who dislikes him, but it is not ballsie for a hot girl to declare her love for her boyfriend in public.

    If they wanted it to go viral they should have at least had a guy do it, and even better would have been if he crashed and burned like that video of the basketball game half-time proposal where the fiance runs off the court. That’s funny. A girl claiming she loves someone, and the whole class making approving noises, is not.

  • Falsk

    Best $1800 ever spent!

    Blah. With $1800 couldn’t you have staged a couple of graduation ceremonies and gotten some kid actors to do something that seems a little more natural and then “flooded YouTube that way? Meh.