Australian TMNT Poster Baffles and Enrages

australia-tmntWhen it comes to movies that make a political statement or cause national controversy, you may not think a film about mutated ninja turtles who learn karate from an anthropomorphic rat would be in the running.

But, Ronn Torossian said that’s exactly what happened when the promoters of the live action sendup of the 1980s cartoon released their promotional collateral in Australia. One of the most prominent posters included the four titular turtles leaping from an exploding inferno of a skyscraper in NYC.

Not a big deal, right? I mean, how many summer blockbusters blow up sections of New York? Only … pretty much all of them. But, did we mention that the movie opens in Australia on September 11.

Yes. They. Did.

If your action movie opens on September 11, you would think that someone – SOMEONE – would suggest that your promotional art not include the heroes leaping from an exploding, burning skyscraper. You might think that, but this failed to occur to a room full of creatives promoting the movie. However, it almost immediately occurred to the denizens of the internet, particularly on Twitter.

The reaction to the poster and online advertising featuring it was visceral. They shared and reshared and reshared again, all the while growing increasingly enraged. What started as passing upset and mild offense at oblivious PR people snowballed into a frothing discontent. Will all that anger stop people from seeing the movie? Probably not. In fact, MORE people might go because of all the controversy.

So, is this a case of all publicity is good publicity, or have these promoters crossed a line that should be chiseled into granite?

What do you think? We’d like to get your take. Leave your comments below.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

View more posts from this author