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Nipples! Legs! Kim Jong Il’s ashes on the red carpet… Just another year at the Oscars.

The big story this weekend was when Sacha Baron Cohen pulled a publicity stunt to promote his new movie Dictator. Dressed as the Dictator, he arrived on the red carpet supposedly carrying an urn full of “Kim Jong Il’s ashes” (actually pancake mix). During his red carpet interview, he “accidentally” dumped them on Ryan Seacrest, creating a huge stir on air and sparking a trending topic on Twitter.

Does it work for a brand or business to “hijack” a popular public event? Murray Newlands takes a lot at the Red Carpet stunt, media reaction, and how reaction played out across the Internet.


  • Host Ryan Seacrest played along, tweeting after the incident that “My mom always told me to pack two jackets for red carpets, always wondered why. Now I know.”
  • Positive reaction by media, negative reaction by readers and viewers
  • Massive pickup across the Internet, mostly Twitter & Images

Graph by Alerti Social Media Monitoring and Management:

This graph looks at what and where people were sharing about the terms “Sacha Baron Cohen” and “Dictator”

Chart results breakdown: Twitter includes all public tweets. Blogs includes all publicly available blogs. News refer to major online newspapers. Video includes all major video sites, like YouTube, DailyMotion and VideoSurf index. Images includes results from Flickr only- Twitter and Facebook image posts are counted in Twitter or Facebook results.