05/16: Diddy's "Downton Abbey" Publicity Stunt Hoax Leads to Release of Funny or Die's "Downton Diddy"
Yesterday, Diddy announced
that he had joined the cast of the popular drama, "Downton Abbey." Almost immediately, PBS denied this claim
. Diddy promised that a preview would be released at midnight Pacific time.
I made the decision not to write about the story yesterday because there was too much wrong with it. If it was true, it was an exceptionally poorly handled roll out. A coordinated announcement with ITV, the U.K.-based television network where the series originated, would have been much more meaningful. In addition, I noted that for a few hours following the announcement, no Bad Boy artists had congratulated him - but seemingly every higher up at Blue Flame Marketing had done so. Blue Flame is Bad Boy's in house marketing company that most notably handles marketing for Ciroc. That was a rather large tell
. Rather than writing about it, I wanted to let the chips fall and see what was released.
is what was released, a video for comedy site Funny or Die, which was founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's production company, and often works with name celebrities in their videos. The clip inserts Diddy into a number of scenes of Downton Abbey, to humorous effect.
In the end, I believe this is a successful publicity stunt, because of the fact that the video was well produced original content and because it was released on a legitimate outlet like Funny or Die. If it had simply been a Downton Abbey inspired Ciroc promotion, that would have been a letdown. Of course, such a stunt does not come without a cost. It is fair to say that whenever Diddy announces that he has been cast in a film or TV show, media members will greet those announcements with trepidation.
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