Arts Alliance Launches Unique Marketing Blitz7 Mar, 2008 By: Angelique Flores
East L.A. Marine
Arts Alliance America has launched a huge marketing campaign, not so much for its upcoming DVD, but for the film's subject.
The company's April 8 documentary East L.A. Marine: The Untold True Story of Guy Gabaldon (DVD $19.95) tells the story of Latino war hero Guy Gabaldon from East Los Angeles. In 1944 as an 18-year-old Marine, he was stationed in Saipan, where he convinced about 2,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians to surrender, keeping them alive rather than becoming casualties of war.
“It's an amazing story and an important one for the Hispanic community to hear,” said Matt Peacock, director of marketing for Arts Alliance America.
Hollywood told Gabaldon's story in the 1960 film Hell to Eternity.
“That movie didn't do Guy's story justice,” Peacock said. “The real story is even more amazing than that movie portrayed.”
What is more amazing to filmmaker Steven Jay Rubin, among others, is that Gabaldon was never awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
“How could Guy have achieved everything he did and not receive the Medal of Honor?” Peacock asked.
On Gabaldon's passing, Arts Alliance decided to change that by launching a “Give Guy the Medal Campaign.”
Each East L.A. Marine DVD will include a prepaid postcard with a petition that can be signed and sent to Washington to push for Gabaldon to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor in action against an enemy that can be bestowed on an individual in the Armed Services.
The company also has dispatched an extensive crusade online through GetGuyTheMedal.com, which has information about the war hero as well as a link to an online petition.
Similar information has been posted on military Web sites, such as defendthehonor.org, and Hispanic sites, such as somosprimos.com.
“We're also going to do a lot of blogging on sites,” Peacock said.
Additionally, Arts Alliance has hired a consultant to hand out the DVD and press releases in Washington to members of Congress.
“We're trying to spread the word about our DVD, but more about Guy,” Peacock said. “I think everybody needs heroes, and Guy certainly could be looked at as a hero in the Hispanic community, especially when a disproportionate amount of Hispanics are marching off to Iraq.”