It is now a schedule that the firms that are at least as carefully scrutinize to the publication of their results, it is that of shooting movies. That scenario runs in Hollywood on background of criticism of the arms industry or a feature on the ravages of the Flock is in preparation, and this is the National Riffle Association (NRA) and McDonald's that strike back, anxious to limit the effects of a public film opinion. "It is a fairly ancient phenomenon, but accelerates, note Arnaud Dupui-Castérès, President of Léo Corporate." The public is looking icons to break down. Then after the industry of the cigarette or Nike, developed by Michael Moore, he found other targets.
In 1999, it was "Revelations", Michael Mann, with Al Pacino, who denounced the industrial tobacco, then "Lord of War" of Andrew Niccol, who criticised those armaments, finally, in 2005, "The Constant Gardener" in Fernando Mereilles, who was attacking the pharmaceutical industry, charged to conduct clinical tests at the Kenya.
De Beers, multinational of the diamond, long monopoly position, does there not err, preparing for long months of reprisal for "blood diamond". The film, which must end in France on 31 January, casts suspicion on any of the diamond industry. In the United States, the contest over the film has swollen: American stars have denounced the sale of diamonds from countries at war, and documentaries, talk shows, newspaper articles were accompanied by the intensive campaign of promotion of the Warner film. "It had already been in the past of the tough enough films, as"The grapes of Wrath"from the book by Steinbeck, who was very harsh against the practices of the agricultural world in the United States, says Seth Goldschlager, partner of Publicis Consultants." But new, it is that critics may have a media impact very important, because the promotion and the set of communication devices in place by the studios to amplify the message of a film.
Nelson Mandela requisitioned
Aware of the power of nuisance of Hollywood's image, the diamond industry has therefore responded very early: to limit the negative impact of "blood diamond", she led an intense marketing campaign through associations such as the World Diamond Council and the Centre for information on the diamond. It has also created a website, and launched an advertising campaign in a dozen major American newspapers to pass its messages.
Better yet, she did write a letter to the patterns of the Warner by a lobbyist of choice, Nelson Mandela, which attracted the attention of major importance for the stabilization of the countries of Africa, of diamond production! And it includes: in "Blood Diamond", Leonardo Di Caprio plays the role of a gems dealer party for a pink diamond at 2 million pounds, on a background of civil war in Sierra Leone. Working for a multinational with the resemblance to De Beers to the afrikaner in the name of his evil boss sounding, the hero, Danny Archer (Léo), guide a journalist, including the investigation proves that the traffic in diamonds funds the purchase of weapons and maintains the civil war. Hence the title of the film "Blood Diamond" (blood diamonds).
Except that, unlike the dedicated formula, any resemblance with facts or persons having existed, is not purely fortuitous. At the end of the film, an explicit mention scrolls to screen: "Despite everything, blood diamonds still exists on the market." It is to consumers well to learn about the origin of the diamonds they buy. "Activism, of course, inconvenient De Beers, the head of 60 of a market valued itself at 60 billion dollars per year. And, as the firm opted since 1938 on a strategy for product placements particularly effective in Hollywood, with the most famous example is probably Marilyn Monroe susurrant a "Diamonds are the girl's best friends."
The register of emotion
Nothing, neither person is safe. The pharmaceutical industry even less. Industry, already implicated in 2001 in Pretoria, South Africa, about patents on triple, then criticized for their treatment of generics in the third world record, had widely anticipated the release of "the Constant gardener" in 2005, which the subject has attracted the interest of the French media. "We are conducting a work of Eve, confirms Christophe de Callatay, responsible for public relations of the European Federation of industries and pharmaceutical associations. But we expected that the film has more impact. Apart from a few countries, the subject has gone almost unnoticed. On the merits, it was not the road, because this kind of clinical trials does not exist. In addition, I believe that people have great respect for the medicine and health industry.
The most vulnerable firms would be those who refuse to accompany the movement of society towards greater information and transparency. Hence the interest for these players to cover their risk by having a strategy.
In this regard, the case of McDonald's, faced with several antimalbouffe, including the recent "Super size Me" films, is instructive. Rather than respond directly to the frontal attacks, McDo preferred to communicate on the measures already taken: deletion of menus Super Size, rebalancing of the menus, introduction of salads and fruit, transparency on the calories and nutrition marketing programs. All under the control of its communicating, in the case, in France, the Agency proteins and Bernard Sananès at Euro RSCG C & 0.
"The difficulty, summarizes Nourdine Cherkaoui, associate at Euro RSCG C & O Director, is that companies generally want to defend foot to foot in a rational manner. A film as "Super size Me" plays on the register of emotion. Adopt a shifted communication may be then a good strategy.
A film may indeed be a weapon of mass destruction for a brand image. "And finally, as summarised Ed Zwick, Director and producer of Blood Diamond, perhaps a little démythologisation by Hollywood can help restore historical truth on a number of things."