LG fesses up to promo hoax

Turns out 'Scarlet' is a new flat-screen TV, not the upcoming movie that was hyped from L.A. to Singapore.

LG Electronics let the cat out of a very glamorous bag yesterday, admitting that its three-month promotion of a sure-to-be-boffo movie starring model-actress Natassia Malthe, with The Sopranos‘ David Nutter producing, was actually a pre-marketing campaign for LG’s new ‘Scarlet’ flat-screen TV.

The bold initiative, which included billboards in Los Angeles, Paris and Singapore, print ads in People and Rolling Stone, banners on Gawker.com and EOnline.com and even personal appearances by Malthe, who stayed in character at film premieres, were all elements of ‘clue-based marketing,’ crows Chan Suh, CEO of NYC’s Agency.com, which devised the scheme. Rather than having to fight competitors with deeper ad pockets for a share of media, he added, ‘We used culture, which is not spend-driven but idea-driven.’

The real campaign for the Scarlet TV broke yesterday, with television, print and online ads running in 27 major markets around the world.