Taking a page out of their playbook for “Contagion,” Steven Soderbergh’s third collaboration (and his penultimate film) with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns is dipping its toes into viral marketing with a site for the antidepressant at the center of “Side Effects.”
If someone were to just stumble upon the site, it’d be easy to mistake it for an actual website for the drug Abilixa. It even has its own generic TV spot that wouldn’t look out of place in the commercial breaks of a sitcom. There’s also a link to have your own virtual evaluation with Jude Law’s Dr. Jonathan Banks who treats Rooney Mara in the film. At the end of the evaluation the site asks for your e-mail address which suggests that there’s more to come.
Mara leads the movie as a young woman who turns to prescription drugs to deal with her anxiety when Channing Tatum -- marking his third film with Soderbergh -- is released from prison. Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vinessa Shaw fill out the rest of the cast.
“Side Effects” comes to a pharmacy near you on February 8, 2013. Check out the fake ad for Abilixa below.