August 8, 2008

Marketing 'Religulous' - Religious Humor on

Looking for cynical, snarky news and views on religion? Check out, a parody of that is part of the campaign for Larry Charles' (Borat) Religulous. Site features include outlandish true stories related to religion, an interactive map detailing happenings in holy religious cities (Britney Spears plays Mecca!), parody advertisements (Burka Barn, North Phoenix Baptist Family LIfe Center Ice Rink) and an RSS feed from "The Heretic Press."

Complex, inventive online campaigns for high profile Hollywood films are somewhat expected. For example, in addition to Tropic Thunder's official site, the Rain of Madness site features German-born (fake) filmmaker Jan Jürgen's account of the making of the (fake) movie-within-the-movie. Follow that? And the campaign for Dark Knight started over a year ahead of the film's release with a variety of secret sites, contests and viral elements.

It's rare that a documentary is treated to the same kind of extensive interactive campaign. With limited budgets, a nice-looking EPK-style site is usually all a non-fiction film can hope for. Lionsgate is betting that Religulous's controversial subject matter and the star power of Bill Maher will appeal to a web savvy audience, and has populated with enough clever writing that the site actually stands on
its own as a destination. Hopefully, the trailer playing on the site will inspire all the harlots and heretics enjoying the humor to purchase a ticket to the film.

Religulous opens in theaters October 3rd after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.