Interscope Records' plan to release a promotional ad for Eminem's new album Revival on SNL did not push through. The video was deemed too misleading.
The record label, together with the Deutsch advertising company, opted to go for a unique campaign method to introduce Eminem's 9th album. Instead of the usual plug-ins and excerpts from the artist's album, Interscope Records decided to create a fake pharmaceutical ad for a disease called Atrox Rithimus. Of course, this is not a real malady. The phrase simply translates to "bitter rhyme" in Latin.
The pharmaceutical ad features a couple out hiking and the man even vouched a cure for Atrox Rithimus from Revival. For eagle-eyed fans, the ad contains several Easter Eggs that point at Eminem's real name Marshall Mathers. The obvious one is the rapper's trademark backward "E," which is how Revival is spelled out in the ad. Then there are the phrases, "Lose yourself" and "I won't waste my one shot," which the man said in the early and last part of the video respectively. These lines are from Eminem's song "Lose Yourself".
The video is very convincing as a pharmaceutical ad, so much so that fans did not immediately guess that it is actually fake. Interscope Records went to great lengths to stick with their campaign that they even had a billboard for Revival put up for everyone to see. A web address, testimonials, and a toll-free number completed the album promotion.
However, it took a while for Interscope to get the hype out. They ran into trouble with running the pharmaceutical ad on TV.
"At first, it was so quiet that we thought we went too straight with it. We did ad buys on SNL in a few markets. New York wouldn't let us run it because they thought it was too on the money and misleading, which in retrospect is pretty great," Dennis Dennehy, vice president at Interscope said.
Fans finally caught up with the hype in October after Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg tweeted a photo of the rapper's album against the backdrop of the Revival billboard. Eminem aka Slim Shady also took to his Twitter in November to promote his new album.
A post shared by Paul Rosenberg (@rosenberg) on Oct 25, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT
pic.twitter.com/VXgVGHK5TN — Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) November 8, 2017
As to why Interscope decided on a pharmaceutical ad for the promotion, Dennehy said it resonates with the album name, Revival. He added that the album also speaks for most of Eminem's work, which runs on the theme of pharmaceutical drugs.