The Colosseum: Movies as PR?

Kelly at the Colosseum

Last Sunday, my classmate Phillip and I visited Rome for the day. Our first and last stop was the Colosseum. As one of Italy’s most ancient and major tourist attractions, it needs no publicity or word of mouth. When we first arrived, the line to enter the Colosseum was so long, we surmised it would take us at least two hours to gain entrance.

So, we decided we would hit some other tourist spots and make the Colosseum our last stop. When we returned and walked into the Colosseum, I immediately knew it was worth the wait. As an American who loves period movies, my first thought turned to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Who doesn’t remember Russell Crowe’s most infamous lines spoken in the final Colosseum scene?

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Take that Commodus! OK, I digress. As I harkened back to some of the best scenes of Gladiator, Phillip asked me if I had seen Doug Liman’s Jumper film. I had not so he told me that there was a great fight scene that also took place at the Colosseum.

My trip to Rome showed me that PR takes many different forms. It can be overt or covert. But, it also can take the unconscious form of a Hollywood film, usually filmed not on location but on a studio lot miles away. And, some of the best PR is free PR, especially if a consumer can attach a brand to it.

-Kelly A. Campbell


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