How to Turn an Angry Voicemail Into the Best PSA Ever

Voicemail From Angry Patron Brings Texas Theater Chain 4.2 Million Views

By Published on .

Ever text in a movie theater? Hate it when others do? Then you're going to understand why this ad for Alamo Drafhouse in Austin went viral, arriving at No. 5 on the chart last week.

You see, Alamo has a policy -- one that 's apparently pretty hard and firm -- that if you talk or text in a movie, you are out. One patron found this out first-hand and took the time to call and leave a message to complain about the experience. Excerpt: "So excuse me for using my phone in the Magnited States of America where you are FREE to TEXT in a the-a-ter!"

That audio was turned into an ad that blew up on the web and then on CNN as well as ABC's "The View."

That shocked Alamo Draft House CEO Tim League, who made a followup video. "We thought we'd get a little bit of traction on it, maybe on the movie sites, but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would end up on "The View," CNN, "Anderson Cooper," all over the place," he said.

Mr. League calls the video a PSA, noting that a lot of people responding to it appear not to have known that texting during a movie is distracting and rude. He's also got something to say about rude commenters: "If it was within my power, we would ban you guys from the Alamo Draft house and from the internet as well."

Alamo is a worthy entrant, with 4.2 million views since it was launched a few weeks ago, according to Visible Measures. But what's interesting on the chart this week is how many made-for-the-internet campaigns are dominating, rather than repurposed TV spots. New campaigns from Nike , Dirt Devil, Axe, Hahn and Altoids (its first appearance on the chart) are all longer than a minute and are made to be distributed as content, rather than pre-rolls.

Filed under "What took him so long?" Tom Dickson hits the viral button again for Blendtec, this time blending a Justin Bieber doll.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 2 Dirt Devil You Know When It's the Devil Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg 2,141,120 -4% Dirt Devil: You Know When It's the Devil
2 New Nike The Chosen 72andSunny 1,346,056 New Nike                                                                    : The Chosen
3 3 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 1,182,486 -4% Evian: Live Young
4 New Axe Dirtcathlon Mindshare 1,146,088 New Axe: Dirtcathlon
5 New Alamo Drafthouse Don't Text N/A 1,080,976 New Alamo Drafthouse: Don't Text
6 8 Blendtec Will It Blend? In-house 1,075,032 +54% Blendtec: Will it Blend?
7 New Nokia Pink Freedom Wieden & Kennedy 965,492 New Nokia: Pink Freedom
8 New Hahn Super Goes In Publicis Mojo 944,914 New Hahn: Super Goes In
9 New Altoids The Curiously Strong Awards Starcom 914,200 New Altoids: The Curiously Strong Awards
10 5 Heineken The Date Wieden & Kennedy 747,916 -25% Heineken: The Date
Most Popular
In this article: