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‘Let’s Be Cops’ Campaign Feeds Twitter Blurbs Into TV Ads (Exclusive)

Who needs critics when you’ve got Twitter?

20th Century Fox is pulling upbeat bon mots from Twitter about “Let’s Be Cops” — the goofy buddy-cop comedy picture that bows Aug. 13 — into TV ads shortly after the tweets are posted.

The studio is working with social-media marketing firm Wayin to integrate social content in “near real-time” into 15- and 30-second spots across nine TV networks during the campaign, which runs Aug. 6-15. The Twitter comments scroll through the ads, reminiscent of film-critic blurbs that have been a staple of movie advertising for generations.

“It was clear early on that fans were turning to Twitter to show their excitement for ‘Let’s Be Cops,’” said Marc Weinstock, president of domestic theatrical marketing at 20th Century Fox. “We wanted to create a new way to amplify this anticipation, engage fans and make them a compelling part of the conversation.” (Although it’s not clear how hugely excited the twittersphere is for the pic: @LetsBeCops currently has just under 5,400 followers.)

In total, there may be as many as 200 unique ads in the campaign, with different Twitter comments featured in different placements. (Example: “Let’s be cops looks hilarious! Have to go watch it!”) On Thursday, Fox’s @LetsBeCops Twitter account asked followers to tweet using hashtag #letsbecops for a chance to be featured on TV:

Fox has bought ad inventory for the Twitter-based “Let’s Be Cops” ads on cable networks including Viacom’s MTV, VH1, Spike and Comedy Central and Turner Broadcasting System’s TBS, TNT and Adult Swim.

“Let’s Be Cops” stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (both of Fox Broadcasting’s “New Girl”), as friends who dress up as police officers for a costume party but get mixed up in a real-life web of mobsters and corrupt detectives. Cast also includes Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy and Andy Garcia. Picture is helmed by Luke Greenfield, written by Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas, and produced by Greenfield and Simon Kinberg.

Denver-based Wayin was founded in 2010 by Scott McNealy, former Sun Microsystems co-founder and CEO. The company’s investors include U.S. Venture Partners.

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