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‘Miss Sunshine’ shifts campaign into high gear

VW buses employed to tubthump Fox Searchlight film

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Or at least drive it around.

With awards season in full swing, Fox Searchlight took the Dec. 19 DVD release of “Little Miss Sunshine” to drive home the pic’s kudos potential as well.

The specialty banner dispatched three VW buses — copies of the pic’s signature vehicle — to tool around L.A. Dec. 15-Dec. 22.

Plastering blatant “For Your Consideration” on the buses might have been seen as being in poor taste, so instead of decaling the movie’s name on the three vans, Searchlight decided on the variation “Little Best Picture,” which appeared on all four sides of the buses.

Searchlight prexy Peter Rice — who came up with the idea of using the vans — ordered that the moniker be written backward on the front of the buses, so that drivers would see “Little Best Picture” in their rear-view mirrors.

Sometimes the three buses drove around together, sometimes not. They were spotted at shopping hot spots including the Grove and Hollywood & Highland. They crisscrossed L.A. from east to west, and trekked over the hill to the Valley.

One of the buses even hit the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s holiday party at the BevHills Hotel.

“The VW bus is so iconic, it would be silly not to take advantage of it,” one Fox Searchlighter says.