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Sacha Baron Cohen drew controversy when he promoted his new film, The Dictator, by throwing what he claimed were Kim Jong Il’s ashes onto interviewer Ryan Seacrest. But did the gimmick work? In this episode of Future of Engagement, Murray Newlands looks at what people said about Cohen’s stunt on social media, and delves into the deeper question of whether stunts like this work from a marketing perspective:



  • In character as Aladeen, Cohen announced that he would go to the Academy Awards…
  • …So the media thought a stunt was coming and thus put cameras on him, ensuring he had a large audience…
  • …But Cohen received almost as much negative feedback as positive feedback from social media.

Graph by Alerti Social Media Monitoring and Management:

This Alerti graph looks at what and where people were sharing about the terms “Sacha Baron Cohen” and “Dictator”