A nationwide billboard campaign asking “Still A Virgin? For Help, Call 888-742-4335” is creating controversy in a growing number of cities. TV news stations in Louisiana, Miami, San Diego, and Arizona have so far covered the brouhaha as local politicians demand the billboards’ removal. Turns out the whole thing is a ruse, a flash marketing campaign to create awareness for The Virginity Hit, the “R”-rated feature comedy from Sony Pictures which is sponsoring the billboards. The movie is about three guys who try to get their virgin pal laid and memorialize it on camera. So what happens if you call the phone number? A recorded message from the movie’s cast members gives an array of semi-humorous options for virgins, then offers a link to the film’s website. The number, 888-743-4335, has been dialed 70,000 times in five days.
Such guerrilla marketing campaigns have been employed to great result on The Last Exorcism, Paranormal Activity, Exit Through the Gift Shop, to create awareness on films that blur the line between fact and fiction, and have tiny promotional budgets and no stars. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s blowback on this movie. Laughing all the way to the bank in anticipation are Gary Sanchez partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, who produced with Principato Young’s Paul Young and Peter Principato. The film will be released in college towns on September 10th, with a wider roll out planned for the next weekends depending if it catches on. The pic was written and directed by Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko, writers of The Last Exorcism, which cost $1.5 million. The Virginity Hit cost a whopping $2M.