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Entertainment Marketers Having a Devil of a Time

666 marks the sign of the devil in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, and 6/6/06 marks the day of key releases in the entertainment industry that use the coincidence and the numbers to sell devilish movies and music.

Among the more brazen is 20th Century Fox, which uses the date to release a remake of the classic 1970s horror film “The Omen,” a flick about a couple who find themselves raising the devil incarnate. The studio’s ad campaign has been warning “6+6+06: Heed The Omen” on billboards and bus stops this past spring. The studio even flew planes with banners reading “You Have Been Warned” over spring break cities last month.

The film’s production company is also reaching consumers online with the popular networking and marketing site at www.myspace.com. By logging onto the film’s page at www.myspace.com/666, fans can download free ringtones and cell phone wallpaper while watching the film’s trailer.

Books and music typically are released on Tuesdays, so a number of albums and books are taking advantage of the 6/6/06 date to market their releases.

The fateful day is the perfect gimmick to sell heavy metal. Despite being unable to get its album ready in time, thrash metal legend Slayer is releasing its new short-album EP “Eternal Pyre” through teen store Hot Topic today.

Deicide, a black core metal band on Earache Records, also will embrace 666 to release two songs on Apple’s iTunes music site from its “The Stench of Redemption” album, which the band is still working on.

And 666 is not just being used as a marketing tool for those embracing the fallen angel’s imagery. Conservative writer Ann Coulter is using the devil’s day to release her new book “Godless,” a criticism of liberals in America published by Crown Forum.

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