Skip to content

Bloody Effective Advertising

Would you dare to show a lot of blood on a billboard advertisement and its surroundings in order to advertise a movie full of guts and gore? At what point would the advertisement go from highly realistic to shock advertising, which means something that deliberately startles and offends.

In the category of Outdoor Billboard Advertising Single, Saatchi & Saatchi NZ won a gold medal for a billboard promoting the Tarrantino movie “Kill Bill.” The movie stars a bride (Uma Thurman) who is nearly assassinated on her wedding day by a modern day assassin’s group. The first two movies depict her attempts to use her Samurai sword, Hatorri Hanzo, to seek revenge by killing the leader, Bill.

So as you can see in the picture, the billboard shows Uma Therman wielding her sword and blood splattering everywhere, on the side of the building, on the cards, on the road, etc.  To say the least, it would certainly be eye catching if it were a Nashville billboard advertisement.

Too Much Realism?


If you define “too much” as generating a buzz that draws people into the movie theater and helps make it a success, then it is not too realistic. It is simply a great billboard design.

However, many folks criticized the billboard advertisement for being bloody and too realistic. (Maybe, they also object to the movie. I have not seen it; but I might very well. You certainly could not accuse it of being less than truthful. )

The billboard was placed on busy corner of Auckland, on the building owned by the television station that was screening the movie. (I wonder if they had much trouble getting permission for the install.)

Get Them Talking

It is certainly a challenge to get your customer’s attention. Drivers and pedestrians are checking their mobile devices, talking on cell phones, dvr’ing shows, and under constant onslaught from advertising.

Controversy can break through some of this clutter. The “Kill Bill” promotion

  • created a sense that it too was entertainment
  • had compelling graphics that were fantastic and flamboyant
  • grabbed people’s attention
  • created some extra discussion in the coffee shops and restaurants with the controversy
  • stopped short of offending most people

Great Location–Check, Creativity–Check, Pulling many more moviegoers to the theaters – priceless.