If you open up the C section of the New York Times today you’ll come across an unorthodox piece of advertisement: a single tweet written by the paper’s own critic A.O. Scott splashed across a full-page ad. The ad, which is easily 80 percent white space, is one of those “for your consideration…” ads that studios use to promote their best movies during awards season. This one is for Inside Llewyn Davis, the film that the Times film critic has raved about. Instead of quoting from his end-of-year roundup though, in which the film took the number one spot, the studio chose to publish an edited version of a tweet: “I’m gonna listen to the Llewyn Davis album again. Fare thee well, my honeys.” And splashed across the bottom of the page: “The best picture of the year.”
The ad seems to have caught Scott off guard:
we have reached a strange new place in marketing when tweets become full-page print ads.— a. o. scott (@aoscott) January 4, 2014
Responding to someone who asked him what the difference was between using the tweet and how studios regularly take quotes out of reviews to promote films, Scott wrote that he “always thought of Twitter (perhaps naively) as something different.”
The studio edited the original tweet though, which originally read:
You all keep fighting about Wolf of Wall St. and Am Hustle. I'm gonna listen to the Llewyn Davis album again. Fare thee well, my honeys.— a. o. scott (@aoscott) December 31, 2013
Scott pointed out though that “I think they might have run afoul of protocols about slagging the competition in awards-season ads.” Many people expressed surprise at seeing the ad on Twitter and one even suggested that using the tweet without Scott’s consent could be a violation of Twitter’s own guidelines.