For a taste of clever marketing, look no further than the campaign currently being run by the producers of the new film "Rising Star".
Directed by filmmaker Marty Lang, the movie tells the story of Chris, an overworked insurance adjuster who meets his online love interest, Alyza, and discovers that there could be life beyond his job.
But here's the clever part. Lang wants the online community to decide what kind of diet Alyza follows; though it's unclear whether this will have a bearing on the plot line. Either way, by tapping into the passionate following of the vegan and vegetarian scene, he's giving the production some interesting social marketing — not to mention a quasi-democratic vibe to the film production process. I mean, when was the last time fans got to decide a certain aspect of a film's character?
In many ways, we can thank Ali Berman, the Sustinability Planner on "Rising Star", for influencing this campaign. The blog entry for the contest explains why, saying, "Since the early days of film what is and isn’t cool, behavior placement, has been defined on screen. Smoking, travel, etc. Recently TV networks and filmmakers have been focusing on sustainable actions. Ali wants 'Rising Star' to be a part of this trend."
So Internet, what will it be? Fans can let their vote be heard through Facebook or Twitter (Follow @RisingStarMovie and Retweet: Alyza #VeganVegRS @RisingStarMovie OR Alyza #OmnivoreRS @RisingStarMovie). Votes must be cast before Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. ET.
And just for the record, I'm voting vegan.