A Professional Viral Marketer Weighs In on ‘Cloverfield’


With only six short months to go until the premiere of J.J. Abrams's secret monster movie (a.k.a. Cloverfield, a.k.a. Monstrous, a.k.a. 1-18-08), nerds on the Internet think they've finally solved the mystery of its plot (see above). Apparently it may have something to do with a fake Japanese beverage called Slusho, which is evidently made of people.

But Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, who markets movies like this for a living, isn't convinced: "In my opinion, this Slusho thing is not that integral to the plot. People are throwing red herrings out there." A professional herring slinger himself, Schafer weighed in on some of the more popular Cloverfield theories making the rounds.

The Four Horsemen Theory: A Hello Kitty–esque horse appears on the Slusho Website and more than a few fanboys have spotted a horselike creature in the trailer. "I think it's possible," Schafer says. "I remember hearing a while ago that this is an end-of-the-world kind of thing, where something was sent from faraway to basically have Armageddon. Maybe Slusho is the first of four Websites with a horse on it? Maybe that's a clue. The four horsemen ride in, and it rains fire and brimstone and all that kind of stuff."

The Sea Monster Theory: The Slusho Website contains a cryptic bit of company history involving a girl who, because she drinks so much of the beverage, is called the "Smallest Whale." The roar in the trailer even sounds something like a whale song. "One of the [theories] is that [the monster is a] giant amphibian. A gigantic animal woken from its slumber under the sea. Some kind of alien that was planted here," Schafer says.

The Global Warming Theory: The Slusho Website says the drink's secret ingredient comes from deep within the ocean and must be kept freezing. Take a look at the trailer and you'll see that day's temperature in the newscast is 63 degrees — pretty hot for a New York January. Are we looking too close? Maybe not. "People are being rewarded for paying attention," speculates Schafer.

The It's-Just-a-Monster-Movie Theory: "With Cloverfield," Schafer says, "I would imagine that we're probably overestimating the amount of thought that goes into this."
—Connor Kilpatrick

Slusho ["Official" site]

Earlier: Secret J.J. Abrams Movie Finally Has a Title — A Stupid One!
J.J. Abrams's ‘Cloverfield’: The Trades and the Blogs Investigate
J.J. Abrams Has an Awesome New Monster Movie, and You Can't Know Its Title