Friday, July 22, 2011

Wag the Dog!!!

Movies are made for various reasons... for entertainment... for thought provocation... to tickle your senses... blah blah blah... there is a SPECIFIC PLOT around which MOST movies revolve... they may be based on romance, fiction, humor, sci-fi, politics, sex, thrill, danger blah blah... like i said, mostly movies are made to entertain... but sometimes they also educate...  Like the movie Hancock, which revolved around changing the public image of a reckless superhero (Will Smith), educates you about the role of spin in image building. Spin is the AWESOMEST tactic ever in the books of public relations (PR). Here are some of the must watches from the PR domain.

Thank You For Smoking” is a great political satire that revolves around Nick Naylor, a smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist. Through the course of the movie we see Public Relations at its best as Nick successfully strives to prove the disconnection between Tobacco and cancer. Through various PR tactics, combined obviously with Nick’s smooth demeanor we see how this brilliant lobbyist successfully builds and retains a positive image for tobacco.

Phonebooth” is an engaging 81 minute movie that has been beautifully shot WITHIN A PHONE BOOTH. In the movie, Colin Firth plays a famous publicist who has a knack for lying. Firth finds himself caught in a phonebooth with a killer on the other line. The killer tells Firth that he will snipe him down if he hangs up. Through the course of the movie we see how the killer make Firth confess to all his lies on national television while the police tries to figure out a way to save him.

Jerry Maguire” traces the life of a famous sports agent (Tom Cruise) who after being fired starts his own agency. As the movie tracks the hardships he goes through in this business it showcases the importance of PR in the field of sports. As Jerry works as a sports agent for his only client, Tidwell, we see how he uses the media, and other PR tactics to build the image of his client.

Peepli Live” is an Indian comic satire that explores the farmer suicides and the subsequent media response that follows them. In this movie we see how the politicians try to appease the masses through the media. We also see media in its rawest form √† only looking for sensational news and in the process forgetting the true essence of responsible journalism.

Wag the Dog” is a hilarious satire with a serious thought-provoking message about the relationship between politics and mass- market entertainment. In this movie a sitting president is caught in a sex scandal just 2 weeks before elections and so he hires a spin doctor, Robert DeNiro, to help him avert this major image crisis. The movie follows how DeNiro with the help of movie producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman), manages to convince the public, using media manipulation techniques to create a fake war. The headlines that result from this manipulation soon take precedent over the President's alleged tryst with a young girl.

It is said, that Wag the Dog acted as an inspiration to Bill Clinton; as in less than a month of release, the Clinton-Lewinsky affair became headline news. As the scandal dominated the American Politics then, Clinton engaged in 3-day bombing campaign in Iraq, released a pair of missile strike against Sudan & Afghanistan & ordered a month-long bombing campaign against Serbia. But all of these could not really cover the negativity generated by Monica's testimony of the 9 contacts in the oval office along with the "never sent to laundry" BLUE DRESS!!! It seems THIS BLOW was much more powerful than the blows received by Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan & Serbia put together ;P

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