In an attempt to not only keep Austin weird but also promote Nicolas Cage‘s latest film, the marketing team on Neon’s Pig has plastered posters around the Violet Crown City. The flyers feature a photo of the missing pig in question and various descriptive bits of information to promote the film’s release later this week.

Eater Austin reported flyers advertising a missing pig have popped up around Austin. In a city where locals own peacocks, chickens, and horses, it is not an entirely unusual situation. However, upon closer inspection, the flyers are actually a stunt marketing campaign for Pig, the upcoming film starring Nicolas Cage that’s set to release this Friday. Flyers asking for information on the missing truffle pig have also appeared in other cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. An accompanying Instagram page also popped up to promote the film.

In Pig, “a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.” While I haven’t seen the film yet, the trailer is emotionally palpable. When Cage’s character says “we don’t get a lot of things to care about,” my heart sank. Check out the trailer below and see what I mean:

It looks like a tearjerker for animal lovers, but maybe I’m just overly emotional from being in quarantine for a year and a half. The plot seems fairly simple and straightforward but the voice-over narration and the juxtaposition of Cage’s wild yet reserved demeanor suggest the film will feature a lot of introspection. To counterbalance the serious tone of the trailer, I love this playful marketing campaign.

Maverick Marketing

William Castle was the king of marketing gimmicks during the late 1950s and 1960s with his ingenious ideas of how to promote and shock audiences, specifically in the horror genre. Alfred Hitchcock also had a unique approach to Psycho with a six-minute long theatrical trailer to build suspense and hype. A resurgence of marketing tactics sprung up in the ’90s with the newly discovered internet age. For example, Space Jam created its own website in 1996, and then in 1999, The Blair Witch Project raised the bar by creating a missing person poster and website. The actors were contractually obligated to stay out of the press for a year after the release as a way to sell the film as a true story. Not only did the film revolutionize the found footage genre, but the marketing tactics kicked off a lot of inventive ideas for films to come. Recently, Philadelphia announced Mare of Easttown Day to celebrate the HBO hit and now we have adorable missing Pig posters around the country. Personally, I love inventive marketing and think it’s a great way to promote films. It gets people excited about what they’re in for once the lights dim. I just hope that the pig is found safe and sound.

Pig will be released on July 16, 2021.

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