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The Rock's 'Faster' becomes a Twitter experiment

November 24, 2010 |  2:34 pm

Movie studios have increasingly been using Twitter in their marketing campaigns. Paramount paid to put "Paranormal Activity" as a Trending Topic so that the movie sat at the top of the hot list of subjects Twitter users were talking about.

Other movies have  used Twitter to conflate fact and fiction. Natalie Portman's Nina Sayers character from  "Black Swan," for instance, has a Twitter account, with updates fashioned out of bits of dialogue and characters points from the story. ("You've got to believe me ... they want to replace me," Ms. Sayers tweeted a few days ago.)

But no movie that we know of has tried what "Faster," this weekend's Dwayne Johnson action-revenge flick, tried Tuesday: paid for a promoted link in the Trending Topics section in the hope that people might confuse it, just a little, with something else.

The movie's more generic title allowed studio CBS Films, with the promoted trending topic, to lasso in those who were simply hash-tagging the word "faster" in the context of Thanksgiving -- tweeters who wished the long weekend would come #Faster, that Black Friday would come #Faster, that airport security lines would move #Faster -- mixed in with those tweeting about the film itself.

In some cases, the simple presence of #faster as a trending topic prompted users to ask what it was, and others to respond with an explanation. But in other instances the studio was hoping that the simple presence of the word out in the Twittersphere will make people more attuned, even subconsciously, to the movie title -- and maybe make them a little more open to choosing it when they went to the multiplex this weekend.

A CBS Films spokesman said the attempt was to turn the challenge -- that multi-meaning title -- into an advantage and "take ownership of the word without the campaign being obtrusive."

We won't know until after the weekend how the unconventional move played. But the campaign has already ensured that "Faster" has its place in social-media history: It's the Twitter era's first-ever subliminal-advertising movie campaign.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT (Not a movie title)

Photo: "Faster." Credit: CBS Films

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I have been a Dwayne Johnson fan for years, and although his babysitting stints have definitely deserved some raised eyebrows, just thinking back to his ass-kicking moves of the past makes me super excited for Faster.

Check out this lovely montage of The Rock's greatest badass moments maid by an up-and-coming editor, its quite legit:



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