On the heels of co-sponsoring the hard hitting survey showing that poor seniors without Medicare part D coverage paid more for drugs than those without, KFF spent part of it's billions ona poll examining just how many people were affected by "Sicko."
Turns out that less than 4 percent of Americans saw the movie, give or take a couple of percentage points (that includes folks who saw it on the Web for free). Needless to say that's not the story KFF wanted to tell. So it asked who had heard of Michael Moore and Sicko right after the both had been basted with a huge marketing blitz. (Ok to market Sicko but not drugs, right?)
"The new poll finds that almost half (46%) had seen the movie or heard or read something about it a little over a month after its national release. This is not much less than the share of adults (61%) who were aware of "An Inconvenient Truth," the documentary on climate change featuring former Vice President Al Gore released in May 2006."
Well, at least Gore can say he won that race.
So what's the precious dross we can take away from this KFF poll?
"Our poll shows how the combination of good timing, a controversial director, and lots of free media attention can generate real impact for a film that very few people have actually seen," said Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman, Ph.D. "'Sicko' is not a commercial juggernaut like 'Transformers' or 'Harry Potter,' and we're not likely to find Michael Moore action figures at fast food restaurants any time soon. But we are starting to see how films about social issues that capitalize on free media rather than traditional marketing can become social phenomena too."
A Michael Moore action figure at a fast food restaurant. Now THAT is funny. Maybe KFF would also be interested in my concept for a health care action movie. It would start Bruce Willis as a NYPD type in London who rescues Michael Moore when is taken hostage by a NHS doctor who is also a terrorist. It's called Fat Free or Die Hard.
PS Does a KFF poll promoting "Sicko" count as 'free media' or 'traditional marketing?'