Controlling the Expectations of the Lebowski Rumor Mill
If you watched the Super Bowl this past weekend, you may remember a certain commercial letting you and every other The Big Lebowski fan down. Some were even more let down, and many in odd Lebowskian ways, when Jeff Bridges appeared as Jeff Lebowski in a Stella Artois commercial.
The commercial has been heralded as a sign of the "whole world going crazy" by Vice, and likely also Walter Sobchak. And as lawyers and law firm owners, there are some important lessons to learn about advertising and controlling the rumor mill that can be learned.
Don't Let Rumors Get Out of Control
One of the big outrages among Lebowski fans involves the teasing of the Super Bowl commercial, which involved Jeff Bridges, as the Dude, and a date.
The rumor mill immediately jumped to the idea that a Lebowski sequel was in the works, which led to more attention. And while those in the know immediately told everyone not to expect it, many didn't get the memo in time and were disappointed.
Deliver on Promises
When making a promise, or teasing something, don't bait and switch. For instance, the "Teaser" published on YouTube doesn't give anyone any idea that the commercial is for a product. In the description, it even pushes the clearly false narrative of a sequel.
If Stella had wanted to please Lebowski fans, as Vice suggested, an original script and story would have done the trick much better, rather than crudely hawking their product as superior to a fictional character's preferred mixed drink.
Take, for example, a scene where The Dude is seated at the bar in the bowling alley in the same place of the old cowboy from the movie. Instead of a sarsaparilla, The Dude has a White Russian (as he would), while some notable actress comes up and asks Gary for two Stellas. The two interact briefly in a "don't I know you moment" after-which the Dude narrates a short voiceover about how she's the woman who symbolizes our time.
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