'Backwards' underwear dominate Sundance swag
05:00 AM, Jan 25, 2013
Swag is everywhere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Octavia Spencer picked u a 70” Element Electonics television at one gifting suite and Dakota Fanning stocked up on Fresh facial products across town. There was even a suite giving out Cream of Wheat snacks.
But the swag item taking Sundance 2013 by storm white women’s underwear promoting the comedy Ass Backwards.
The simple billboard features the appropriate movie title on the backside with the Sundance screening times on the front (though, it should be noted, it is a lot easier to check ones iPhone).
The brilliant marketing gimmick was the brainchild of Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael who co-wrote and star in the movie about two best friends who travel cross country to take part in their hometown beauty pageant — they hope to rid the demons of coming in a dead tie for last as children in the pageant.
The comic actresses had used the women’s underwear marketing idea at an Aspen comedy festival and decided to unveil it in Sundance.
“Especially with the title of the film it made complete sense,” says Raphael.
The smart idea turned into instant Sundance legend when festival director John Cooper appeared onstage to introduce the film at Monday’s late-night premiere wearing a pair of the Ass Backwards underwear — backwards and over his pants — to utter surprise followed by wild applause.
“I was shocked, shocked and more shocked to see John Cooper wearing our underwear, especially at this prestigious film festival,” says Raphael. “I’m not going to lie.”
“It took my breath away,” adds Wilson.
Cooper points out: “Ass Backwards is a wacky, absurd, hilarious and downright outrageous film, and in keeping with the fun and festive atmosphere at its late-night premiere, I was happy to help them showcase their promotional materials for all to see.”
The items went even faster after the celeb festival director endorsement. And they have proved themselves to have many uses. The duo have used them to thank people for coming to the movie, and as apologies for the people standing in line who did not make it into the premiere. One friend even used a pair as a temporary scrunchie to keep hair out of her face at dinner.
While the item has outperformed even the duo’s wildest expectations, they have no plans of doing a promotional pair of men’s underwear.
“It’s already incredibly weird to be handing out women’s underwear,” says Wilson. “I just cannot see doing the same thing with men’s boxer shorts.”