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Fox Apes DVD Piracy with 'Borat'

6 Mar, 2007 By: John Latchem

The marketing department at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is pushing the third-world theme of the studio's hit film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan all the way to the DVD packaging.

When DVDs of the $128.5 million theatrical hit shipped for its March 6 home video debut, many retailers were surprised to find the package mimics a bootleg copy of the film. All the text on the package is in Russian, and the disc itself looks like a DVD-R with the film's title written on with a Sharpie. The brand of the DVD-R? “Demorez,” a play on Memorex, complete with the Borat-style slogan “Is Life? No. Demorez.”

The film is a documentary-style comedy in which actor Sacha Baron Cohen tours the country as the fictional Borat, a Kazakh journalist, and incites humorous reactions from the unsuspecting Americans with whom he interacts. A trademark of the film is its wildly taboo humor that stems from the Borat's inappropriate interpretation of American societal norms.

In line with this crudeness, the bootleg-style box art features fuzzy graphics and fading colors, as if made on a cheap photocopier.

Not to leave English-speaking fans completely in the cold, the DVD does come with a standard cardboard sleeve with English text. And there are just enough copyright logos to convince fans the DVD is authentic.

The packaging strategy has prompted some piggyback marketing efforts. The Web site dvdgiftbaskets.com, which specializes in packaging new DVDs with goodies, paid for a sponsored link that appears after a Google search for the word “Demorez.”

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