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Saw V Telemarketing Campaign Shut Down

Posted by Corina / October 18, 2008

Saw 5 Marketing campaignDespite the launch of the new National 'Do Not Call' List, Saw V marketing strategists recently tried to launch a new crank call scare campaign to promote the release of the movie, filmed in Toronto last spring.

But like all good pranks, this one has come to an end with the website pulling the link to the interactive phone message application down permanently last night.

Luckily, I tried it before it went down... take a listen; timely Halloween prank or annoying telemarketing strategy?

Although I think this is a pretty neat idea, some people were apparently scared enough to call in it to police, which caused authorities to issue a warning. So never mind what I think of the campaign, some people were obviously scared enough to demand that the feature be pulled down.


I think it's a pretty good campaign if the 'victim' has seen any of the previous Saw films. If not, the idea is that as an honest prankster, I will dutifully enter my real phone number into the app which will then display it on my victim's phone. Then again, the voice feature on the site couldn't say 'Corina', and when I tried to use Jane it turned into Janis... this could result in some confusion.

Maybe it's better to shut it down than let it get out of control, like the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie promotion that shut down the city of Boston.

Tribe Magazine readers also reminisced about other viral efforts after the Saw V shutdown. Most, like Make Me Super, have innocent intentions; but it just goes to show how ridiculously catchy viral marketing can be... now even Jigsaw's forced to adhere to the National 'Do Not Call' list.



Jerrold / October 18, 2008 at 05:33 pm
I knew it wouldn't last long. You could enter any fake/real phone number as the sender which would show up on the victim's caller ID (and if the number is in their contact list, special rings or photos would show up as if that person were actually calling). And you could send to the same number repeatedly (I tried three in a row and all three went through). Potential for abuse was just way too high for this to work.
Jerrold / October 18, 2008 at 05:36 pm
Oh, and the actual sent recording ends with a plug for the film (which isn't in above recording). I guess some people didn't get that far before being creeped out enough to call police.
Laura / October 18, 2008 at 05:42 pm
"These calls have genuinely frightened a number of citizens, including the mother of an intended target who called OPP to complain."

This is why you never prank call someone who lives with their mom. Lol
ronotoe / October 18, 2008 at 06:59 pm
I went to town punching in numbers of friends yesterday (Friday) with this!!!!!

I knew it would either not last long, or mainstream media (or otherwise) would catch on and the whole thing would go bust.

I got nothing done at work. I called practically every person in my office...running over to watch them as they took the call, of course. it was all in good fun.

by late afternoon, as most of them were coming back to me for instructions on how they could do it, the vtalk feature on the site had already to started to crash.
Matthew Mcgarnickle / October 18, 2008 at 07:47 pm
Saw V??? That would mean that there was a Saw 1V, or did they just skip it?

Great marketing tool though!
Corina / October 18, 2008 at 07:49 pm
Heh, yeah there was a Saw 1-4... none of them being very good. But I liked the addition of Donny Whalberg :)

Always a good set of movies to download - I mean SEE - over Halloween.
Blair Kills / October 18, 2008 at 08:41 pm
THAT is the most amazing thing EVER. It sucks that it got shut down. listening to the sample you posted, had me with my hand over my mouth to keep myself from screaming out in joy. me and my friends LOVE saw. If one of my friends had sent that to me it would have a life changing experience of joy!
Amber / October 19, 2008 at 12:38 am
This isn't the first time this sort of campaign has been used; it's ridiculously common now. I bombarded friends with messages from Samuel Jackson re: Snakes On A Plane. Fall Out Boy did it for their last album. There's been a few others. It's hilarious and it's sad they pulled it. If you couldn't grasp from the weird pause before the name that it's fake.... well...
Holly / October 19, 2008 at 03:27 am
This is not even scary at all...i dont see why it was taken off the net....lol, its funny, cant be taken seriously, i do love saw though so much :)
sniderscion / October 19, 2008 at 11:55 am
I had a lot of fun on Friday with this as well (on my lunch hour of course) :)
Same experience as ronotoe; waiting for the victim to come running out of his/her office laughing and wanting to know how to do it themselves. Great little campaign :)
Corina / October 19, 2008 at 11:59 am
All in good fun, but I did not hear the movie ad at the end of my phone call!!! Which made it creepier.

Anyone else see that photo and think 'glass case of emotion'? hehe
sniderscion / October 19, 2008 at 01:15 pm
First thing I thought of when I saw the photo was "Zombie Walk"; which I'm going off to shoot right now.
Kate / October 20, 2008 at 10:05 am
Ach - I just lost the game!
Matt Beckman / October 20, 2008 at 07:49 pm
Here is a website that isn't so scary and offers some great personalization...the info you enter is only for the video...make sure you put in your real phone number.

<a href="http://www.inspiredseason.com";>http://www.inspiredseason.com<;/a> (It's for Gonzaga University Basketball)
Eco Wright / October 23, 2008 at 10:32 am
ahhaha..i got my two best friends really good.They were realllly scared!Too bad its gone now!
Uh / January 7, 2009 at 03:58 pm
Do "Tribe Magazine readers" do anything but reminisce? ROFL.
garbx / February 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm
where was the ad? That is just creepy - imagine some poor old woman answering the phone and hearing that... Not cool.
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