In a classic case of a publicity stunt gone wrong, the makers of a Hollywood film are drawing flak from fans for misusing a national monument for promotion.
In a video titled ‘The amazing Spider-Man makes his mark in India!’ uploaded on Youtube on Thursday, two big holographic red spiders are shown crawling up Delhi’s India Gate, much to the shock of the onlookers. Within seconds, the laser display changes to ‘In cinemas 29 June’, making it clear that it was a promotional exercise for the Hollywood film The Amazing Spider-Man.
Even though such a projection of the spiders has happened at landmark buildings abroad, including Sydney’s Opera House, not many are amused at the choice of a martyr’s memorial such as India Gate for promoting the film.
“How can somebody allow a movie promotion on National Pride Building? This is shameful (sic),” posted sumeetsher under the video’s link.
"Tomorrow they’ll do the promos for xmen on taj mahal. this is shameful for our country. doing promos for a Hollywood movie on a monument meant for soldiers who died for our country, (sic)” wrote, DJ Navendu.
Many questioned how the makers got permission from the authorities. The authorities, in turn, seemed clueless, raising doubts that the video could be fake. KC Dwivedi, additional commissioner of police, said, “We don’t know anything about it.”
“I am unaware” said S.K. Mittal, DG, Central Public Works Department. Dr. BR Mani, spokesperson, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), said, “Monuments can’t be used for advertisement purposes. And laser can be harmful for the monument.”
The film’s distributors in India, Sony Pictures Entertainment, refused to confirm the veracity of the video or answer if they had obtained permission for the show.
“This is sick. Even if they digitally morphed the spider on India Gate in the video and didn’t actually do the show, it’s still unforgivable as we have sentiments attached to the monument,” said Ria De, a student.