The Dark Horse (Warner Bros.) (1932)

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Straw Vote With Newspaper Cooperation Capitalize on the political importance of this year by tieing up with your newspaper on a straw vote, using your theatre as a polling place. In this way you make a direct link between the picture and the campaign, with benefits being mutual: the newspaper gets sereen credit in your trailer announcement of the straw vote—you get newspaper eredit on the ballots readers fill out and drop in boxes at your theatre. Call the straw vote the ‘‘Dark Horse-Daily News Political Poll’’ or something similar, so you’re sure to get proper recognition on the stunt. Be sure to use a local angle on the vote. If the general elections have already been held, tie-in with the elections of your high school’s General Organization calling the leaders the school’s ‘‘Dark Horses’? and offer passes or ticket concession of some kind. 19 Live-Wire Ideas that tell ‘em you're playing The Dark H “if I Were Mayor” Essay Contest Get your newspaper to run an essay contest as either a current or advance stunt, with the subject, ‘‘If I Were Mayor of (name of town) This Is What I Would Do.’’ Contestants can list civic improvements with reasons, reforms, unemployment relief, etc. Give passes to showing of ‘‘The Dark Horse’’ to writers of essays printed daily, with winner, if stunt is an advance, enlarged for lobby display. The idea is timely and interesting, and swell for the paper’s prestige as well as your own. But be sure not to encourage criticisms of the city’s administration as that may arouse the antagonism of the public officials. THROWAWAY BALLOT A special facsimile ballot is available on this picture. Headline across top of ballot reads: VOTE THE STRAIGHT LAUGH TICKET ELECT THE “DARK HORSE” The remainder of the throwaway consists of heads of the east in typical ballot form together with humorous copy that sells the comedy angle. Price: $4.00 per M — $3.50 per M over 3M — $3.00 per M over 5M. Order direct from EXPLOITATION PRINTERS 20 W. 22nd St. N. Y. City orse. Local Candidates On Theatre Stage Get your local candidates for the most important office to attend your performances, giving over one evening to one party’s candidate and the next to the other party. This idea will stir up a lot of local interest in your showings of ‘‘The Dark Horse.’’ Let the public know that the picture is the inspiration for the political rallies in your theatre. When you do this, be sure that the candidates don’t make speeches longer than five minutes. Decorate the stage appropriately and let the politicians give their views. Dark Horse Candidates Of History Run a newspaper contest offering prizes to readers who send in the largest lists of dark-horse presidents and the best definitions in answer to ‘“What. is a ‘Dark Horse?’ ”’ There is a general misunderstanding of what a Dark Horse really is. Therefore, have the judges you select, agree on a key definition on which the answers will be considered. Make the prizes substantial enough to draw _ additional interest. It’s a simple stunt and will stir up interest in your showing of ‘‘The Dark Horse.”’ Woman ) ayor For =~A=-Dz Ly Get the cooperation of your municipal authorities to select a woman to be mayor for a day. The idea corresponds with the Boys’ Day Mayor idea used in numerous large and small eities. You ean sell this idea to the authorities by showing them how such an election will stimulate the political interest of local women, the feminine vote being highly desirable to politicians, Get the cooperation of your newspapers in conducting such balloting because of the reader interest it arouses. If possible, have the paper print and distribute a full page size flyer, on one side of which is your theatre’s ad, nd on the other side the pa -<’s ad and announcement f the balloting. Because of tue local angle on such an election, most of the details must be worked out to fit your city. You can instigate plenty of competition and rivalry among the women by getting candidates from such representative groups as tactory workers, office workers, department store employees, housewives, women’s clubs and others, playing one group against the other. Other general points to remember are: Newspaper can run the usual election ballots, Woman chosen as Mayor-for-a-day should appear at your theatre during showing of ‘<The Dark Horse.’’ Tie in the opening of your showing by using term ‘‘Dark Horse’’ in daily newspaper reports of the sontest and by issuing and aecepting ballots in your lobby. The mayor-for-a-day idea can be varied to include men against women or boys against girls, in the form of a popularity contest| regardless of political afiiliations. Election Lobby\ In keeping with the theme of the picture, you have a glorious opportunity to tie in with this season’s political campaigns and elections by decorating your lobby as a polling place. Spot a couple of voting booths in the lobby and decorate them with flags and bunting. Use cutouts of Kibbee and William as ‘‘Our Candidate For The Office of Chairman of the Board of, Laughs’’ and ‘‘Our Candidate for the Office of Superintendent of Hilarity,”’ ete. Drape the cutouts with small flags. Similarly, blow up heads of the cast members, draping and captioning as with the large cutout figures. In addition, use your 40 x 60 frames. In one of them blow up. a ** Hilarity’ Platform”’ which is to consist of statements from the ‘‘candidates’’ (‘Dark Horse’’ cast) about the enjoyment and laughter they assure patrons of your theatre. Make it look like a regular political platform, but use humorous copy. In another 40 x 60, reproduce a ballot with instructions to vote the candidates marked on the ‘Straight Laugh Ticket,’’ using cast members for this also. Carry the political campaign atmosphere in every lobby detail. Be sure to ‘‘gag’’ it up. Give ’em a laugh in the lobby and they’ll want to see and hear the laughs inside. Announce Candidacy For Impossible Office Last year a Seranton exhibitor had the town laughing for weeks on a simple stunt: he announced himself as a candidate for the office of Dock Commissioner, although there are no docks in Scranton. The papers went for the gag and a good time was had by all, as there was nothing to prevent the Candidate from running for an office even if it didn’t exist. The publicity he got on his candidacy benefitted his theatre immeasurably. Apply the stunt to ‘‘Dark Horse’’ and your locality and watch the results. It’s a ‘‘natural’’ for this picture. Voting Booth Effect Construet facsimiles of the regulation voting booth and use them for entrance doors into your lobby. Patrons walk into the booth to open your regular lobby doors. If your prefer you can use this idea for your inside lobby stationing the ticket-taker outside the Wooth. Signs like ‘‘No electioneering between polls,’’ ete., will add to the effect. Also, have door of booth lettered to effect ‘‘We Know You’ll Vote for ‘The Dark Horse’ — Running On A Hilarity Platform.’’ Blow up head of Kibbee for booth front, but don’t kill desired effect by making blow-up too large. ADVERTISING BUTTON PRICE $6.50 per 500, $10.50 per M, $10.00 per M over 3M and $9.50 per M over OM. A stunt that will aid your campaign on this picture is the distribution of buttons (see illustration at left) such as are used in the eleetion campaigns. The kids are the best medium of ad vertising through buttons. They are sure to wear them, thus taking your ad into the home as well as around town. Distribute them at schools, clubs and recreation centers. Order direct from ADVERTISING NOVELTY & PRINTING COMPANY 500 Warwiek Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. Torehlight Parade ‘‘The Dark Horse’’ gives you a chance to bang over loads of unprecedented publicity at a small cost. On your opening night organize a_ torehlight parade using floats and banners gotten up in electioneering style. Get+the Boy Scouts and their band, the American Legion Fife and Drum Corps, schools and their bands. Any local fraternal or political organization desiring to carry messages of their own in the parade should be invited, provided they make their signs in keeping with the comedy note in your own signs. Have typical electioneering banners drawn up by your artist using heads of Kibbee and William. The following slogans are suggested: PUT AMERICA ON THE LAUGH STANDARD VOTE FOR “THE DARK HORSE” HILARITY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER — VOTE THE LAUGH TICKET AT THE STRAND BIGGER AND BETTER PROMISES FROM HICKS THE STRAND’S “DARK HORSE”’ WE NEED MORE LAUGHS VOTE FOR HICKS THE LAUGH OF THE NATION — THE STRAND’S “DARK HORSE” A POLITICAL LANDSLIDE OF LAUGHS ““THE DARK HORSE”’ VOTE FOR “THE DARK HORSE,” HE’S TOO DUMB TO BE CROOKED WHAT THIS TOWN NEEDS IS MORE MERRIMENT VOTE FOR HICKS AND HOWL Your big theatre’ plugs should be carried with banners and on the floats. Short talks of five minutes by local candidates of both parties might be arranged on your stage at the culmination of the parade. Page Seven