Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Most Annoying/Brilliant Marketing Ever!

[Bear in mind; part of the idea behind this blog is marketing! So, I guess I need to do something about that every so often...]

Whatever Daniel Radcliffe (you know, the guy that plays some wannabe wizard) is paying his marketing guy, is definitely worth it. Radcliffe is going to be making two appearances, and they arguably the best two ideas ever. Or at least in the Top 100;-)....

The second is his guest spot on Extras. In it, he plays one of the most obscene boy scouts ever, who tries to pick up anything in a skirt. Regardless of whether or not you find it amusing, that you have an actor who is well-known for playing a straight-laced boy wizard showing up and doing Benny Hill stylings is going to be a great boon to his career, especially when it hits Youtube. Any time you have an actor that, to at least some degree is purposely going after his own career, especially with a few more movies in his hit franchise still to film, it can be interesting. With the sheer amount of popularity that the HP series has going for it, this (hopefully) one-shot appearance is great.

Then there is Equus. Equus is one of those plays that has a tradition: All the characters involved (except for the psychiatrist) usually do the role fully nude. For most actors, this would mean that the internet would be filled with pictures of the naked actor. The actor would have absolutely no control over his image(s), especially if it was in public. Even if they tried enforcing copyright laws, the image would spread across the net like wildfire.

Well, Radcliffe has a unique situation, and he's taking full advantage of it. Specifically, he's 17. Yes; he's a minor doing full-frontal nudity! Not that I'm trying to encourage this, but, in terms of image control, this is a seriously brilliant idea! Look at it for a moment:

1) No adult site (such as sites that archive nude celebrity photos) can carry the pictures as they aren't allowed to have pictures of nude minors. Even if it may be legal, they have a chance of having their IP's being yanked. That is, if they post even a bare butt, odds are good that they will get nailed for child pornography.

2) "Boy-lover" sites (those that say that they appreciate the nude youth as a symbol of beauty) won't allow those pictures in order to avoid the issues of child pornography. Even reasonably innocent pictures usually don't stand the occasional purge on image-holding sites. In short, the pictures won't show up there either.

3) Nude pic on a discussion board? Not likely; TOS's usually stop the posting, and they have special reason to avoid copyrighted material (it's easy to track). A nude pic of a famous minor would result in the poster being banned and the post deleted.

4) Fan sites are usually hosted on free web hosting services that don't allow nude photos or copyrighted material. The website would get nuked once someone complained about it.

Bottom Line? If Radcliffe stops Equus before he turns 18 in July, and anyone posts a nude picture of Daniel Radcliffe while he's performing Equus, then that person/site will not only get his IP nuked, but face possible charges of child pornography as well (assuming the images were being used for titillation or similar uses; I'll get back to this in a moment!). Even worse for the person, Radcliffe doesn't need to file a civil suit; the authorities are the ones enforcing it, not a reasonably regular person. That is, anyone notifies the authorities about the pictures, then they may be going to jail.

In short: He is doing a major nude role, and not having to worry about most of the consequences!

Yeah, I know I'm simplifying the laws a bit; Fair Use still applies, and using the images for art appreciation reasons may mitigate the penalties a bit (ie, make them go from criminal to merely civil). Also, I know nude pics of kids in movies make it online all the time (do a websearch for "devon sawa" "now and then" sometime). What I'm trying to point out is, to a limited degree, Radcliffe limits the availability of the pictures (let's face it: Someone will post the pictures somewhere!) and forces the authorities to enforce the situation. By taking advantage of the fact that the better sites police themselves, and that the lesser sites will get nuked, it's it'll be interesting to see what happens when the play opens...

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