This week something went very wrong with the international marketing of Michael Bay’s forthcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot film. A piece of creative depicting the film’s protagonists leaping from a burning building somehow passed muster with Paramount Picture’s Australian marketing team. This same creative made it through in other regions with no problem, as well; however, the film’s Australian release date is September 11.
Through this unfortunate lapse in internal communication, Paramount managed to confuse and infuriate American audiences. Paramount has since deleted the image from its social media accounts, and issued a statement of apology to Buzzfeed. As these things go, however, once it’s out there it’s out there.
TMNT major marketing fail – oh dear…
— Claire B (@CBickers) July 30, 2014
TMNT movie opens on Sept 11, poster features a burning skyscraper – proving once again that marketers are STUPID PEOPLE.
— Scott Leyes (@ScottLeyes) July 29, 2014
How does this make it past marketing? Ninja turtles poster invokes 9/11 attack: http://t.co/UXLHwq7GUr
— Jessica Durando (@JessicaDurando) July 29, 2014
— Carl Marsalis (@CarlMarsalis) July 30, 2014
The TMNT movie’s marketing is a train wreck. Fire whoever is handling PR.
— Cath Lee ??? (@LeeCathleen) July 29, 2014
Some folks question whether this whole controversy was an oversight in the first place. Paramount certainly wouldn’t be the first company to publish incendiary marketing material for virality.
The fact that Paramount did the TMNT 9/11 poster is nasty. What’s worse is that I wonder if it was done deliberately? Viral Marketing.
— LemonJelly (@LemonJeIIy) July 30, 2014
Whatever you think about the TMNT poster and Hollywood, there’s no WAY that’s an “accident/oversight”. Got people talking though…
— Adam (@vultureofrock) July 29, 2014
Of course, not everyone was offended by the mix-up. Some tweeters felt the entire debacle was founded on a bit of a reach from the onset.
I meeeaaaan, it’s a bit of a reach for me…or just poor timing. Wonder if someone got fired over it tho lol http://t.co/pnHG9KOnwf
— Aaron Davidson (@davidsonato) July 30, 2014
People got mad about that TMNT poster ? I bet it was people that weren’t even directly affected by 9/11. People are too sensitive nowadays
— zach (@NotZachHenry) July 30, 2014