In non-hacking news: Sony Pictures Television has sponsored the first-ever takeover of Yahoo’s Tumblr, celebrating the allegedly fictional holiday of Festivus from Jerry Seinfeld’s classic sitcom “Seinfeld.”
The studio’s meta-campaign centers on the holiday “for the rest of us,” aimed at driving users to watch episodes of “Seinfeld” in syndication and on Crackle, Sony’s ad-supported video site. SPT launched the campaign following the debut of the official “Seinfeld” Tumblr blog, at seinfeld.tumblr.com.
According to Tumblr, Sony Pictures Television is taking over the Tumblr logo for 24 hours on Dec. 23, in the first sponsorship of its kind. When users log into Tumblr, they will be able to hover over the far left logo and click on “Enable Festivus Mode” to hear the “Seinfeld” theme music.
“Seinfeld” aired on NBC for nine seasons, from 1989-98. The series was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment and is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Jerry Seinfeld also stars in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Crackle, which is the site’s most popular original programming to date, now in its fifth season.
For Sony, the promo promises a rare bit of comedic relief after more than four weeks of dealing with a debilitating cyber-attack, which the U.S. says was led by North Korea. Since the Nov. 24 take-down of Sony Pictures Entertainment, hackers have posted internal studio documents online and uploaded at least five Sony films to piracy sites. SPE decided to cancel the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a farce starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about American journalists conscripted to assassinate North Korea’s leader, following threats against theaters that had planned to show the comedy. [UPDATE, 12 p.m. PT: “The Interview” has been slated for limited theatrical release on Christmas Day.]
Festivus was first introduced in the “Seinfeld” episode “The Strike,” which originally aired on Dec. 18, 1997. In the episode, Kramer has resumed work at his old bagel-factory job after a lengthy strike, while George tries to escape the holiday alternative to Christmas that his father, Frank Costanza, has created.
Here’s an excerpt from the “Seinfeld” episode being promoted on Tumblr:
Frank: I got your message. I haven’t celebrated Festivus in years. What is your interest?
Kramer: Just tell me everything.
Frank: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank: It was destroyed, but out of that a new holiday was born. A Festivus for the rest of us.
Kramer: That must have been some kind of doll.
Frank: She was. And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.
Kramer: And is there a tree?
Frank: No. Instead there’s a pole. It requires no decoration; I find tinsel distracting.
Kramer: Frank, this new holiday of yours is scratching me right where I itch.
Frank: Let’s do it then.
Kramer: All right.
Frank: Festivus is back. I’ll get the pole out of the crawl space.