How critical can marketing be to international relations?
Very – at least as portrayed in the film, “Argo.”
In it, six Americans who fled the U.S. Embassy as militant Iranians took almost 60 others there hostage in late 1979 have only one hope of escaping the country alive. They must pose as a Canadian film crew on a location scout amidst Iran’s revolution.
Here’s everything they had to market:
- their fake personas (covers)
- the fake movie conceit
- enough confidence to fool the Revolutionary Guards manning airport security
- a handful of Hollywood insiders had to convince the screenwriter, a couple dozen actors, and the Hollywood press that the movie was entering production
- the CIA chiefs pitching the movie-cover scheme had to convince the political honchos it was the best of several bad options.
- a business office was staged entirely to verify film production status, particularly for any long-distance calls from Iranian authorities.
Did all that marketing to an international public work?
Could today’s film stars make a movie “based on a true story” if it hadn’t?
~ Rachel E. Dewey