Love blows, as both DreamWorks and Lionsgate are learning as they push their respective R-rated romantic comedies “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Good Luck Chuck” over the coming weeks.
Billboards for the Ben Stiller starrer “Heartbreak Kid” began popping up throughout Los Angeles several weeks ago featuring the tagline “Love blows” atop an image of Stiller and Malin Akerman engaged in a marital row.
The outdoor campaign for “Good Luck Chuck” debuted about two weeks later sporting the nearly identical tagline “Sometimes love blows” underneath a shot of stars Dane Cook and Jessica Alba, whose skirt is swishing in the wind a la Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven Year Itch.”
So how do two movies opening within two weeks of each other wind up with indistinguishable catchphrases?
“It looks like a wisp of coincidence may have blown over a part of our campaign,” DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy said of the studio’s Farrelly brothers-directed film, which opens Oct. 5.
Lionsgate, which releases “Good Luck Chuck” on Sept. 21, didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Both films feature alternate taglines, but “Love blows” serves as the primary slogan.
While the twin taglines may seem unusual, it’s not unprecedented. The phrase “Love hurts” has graced the posters of countless films including “The War of the Roses,” the 2001 horror film “Valentine” and, in limited usage, “Heartbreak Kid.” After all, rival studios often rely on the same outside vendors, and campaign elements get recycled. What’s atypical is the close proximity of the two films’ release dates.
Ironically, “Good Luck Chuck” showcases yet another tagline: “There’s something about Jessica,” playing off the Farrelly brothers’ 1998 title “There’s Something About Mary.”
“It’s probably just kind of bad luck for ‘Chuck,’ ” a marketing exec at a rival studio said. “As marketers, we don’t see what the other person is doing until it’s in the marketplace. You’re sort of in your bubble working on your creative.”
Once a studio has printed posters and billboards, it becomes prohibitively expensive to make changes.
“Once you’re on press and going and rolling, it’s not really worth it,” the executive said. “All the stuff is really expensive. They probably didn’t even realize it until (the DreamWorks campaign) was up. And I’m sure they were like, ‘Wow, that blows.’ “