Ratatouille: A terrible experience

Update: Jen Winter has contacted me and apologised for the email, which I’ve accepted. All sorted now.

Ratatouille is, by all accounts, a magnificent movie. Potentially Pixar’s best, and that’s saying a lot. And of course, it’s a very important film – these movies cost a lot to make and if they fail, that’s tens of millions down the drain. So, like every other major movie out there, Pixar uses publicity firms to make sure that there’s as much positive buzz as possible about the film, and so increase ticket sales.

That would explain why I received an email from ‘Jen Winter’ at New Media Strategies a few days ago. I imagine Jen had done a search on Technorati or Google to find blog posts that talked about Ratatouille, one of which is on my blog. She then emailed the authors of these blogs about the film. All perfectly fine and acceptable. Jen probably imagined that pretty much all of these blog posts were supportive – and why not, when it’s Pixar making it? – so instead of going through the frankly demeaning and wasteful process of actually reading those posts, she sent out a mass mail, which follows:

Good morning,

My name is Jen Winter and I am working with Disney/Pixar on their new film RATATOUILLE. I work with the studio to distribute content online and I came across your post on the film. Thank you for supporting the movie! I just wanted to touch base and update you on some of the new assets that are available for RATATOUILLE that I thought you and your readers may find of interest.

I have included some of the new content for the film, including:

(various clips that you can find on YouTube)

If you would prefer streaming links for any of these videos, I’d be happy to provide those to you as well. Just make sure to let me know what format you prefer.

Also, would like to be included on distributions for future Disney films? We have many exciting projects coming up and I would love to work with you in the future. Please let me know and I will make sure to include you.

If you have any questions, or if there is anything else that I can provide you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me. RATATOUILLE opens in theaters THIS FRIDAY, June 29th!

Many thanks!
Promotions Associate

This email seems like it was carefully crafted to irritate me as much as humanly possible. Not only did it get my hopes up at the start (‘hey, someone from Pixar is emailing me with exclusive stuff!’) only to realise that it was a mass mail, but it also finishes with the infuriating line ‘RATATOUILLE opens in theatres THIS FRIDAY, June 29th!’

Not in the UK it doesn’t! And what what was the entire point of my original post about Ratatouille, the post that elicited this email from Jen? The fact that Ratatouille is being released over three months later in the UK than in the US! The only countries in the world that have a later release date are Finland, Italy and Sweden – France, Russia, Peru, Turkey, even Slovenia have earlier release dates. I was already annoyed about the delay, and this didn’t help.

By assuming that I live in the US, this email is beyond insulting – it’s unprofessional, because it ignores the entire point of my post. If I wanted to sign up to a US-only publicity list, I would’ve done that myself.

I’m going to watch Ratatouille when it comes out, because I watch all of Pixar’s movies. But by associating themselves with these New Media Strategies jokers, they do themselves a disservice, and they piss me off.

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