Companies distancing themselves from disgraced spokespersons or even embattled CEOs is nothing new in the world of business. Someone is scandalized and immediately they are dropped from lucrative endorsement deals or they find themselves dealing with a very public resignation or worse. It’s a common occurrence in today’s media saturated world, and so it’s no surprise to see it bleeding over into the world of fiction.
As part of a new piece of rather clever viral marketing, it would seem LexCorp Industries, the company headed by Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, has shown up on Instagram with a presence as if it were a real company, and specifically a real company that is going through some tough times in terms of public perception.
Jesse Eisenberg offered a unique take on Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman, which is one of the reasons director Zack Snyder wanted him for the role. He is still every bit Superman’s arch-nemesis, though, and every bit a supervillain. He does some very bad things over the course of the movie, as supervillains do, and so it’s only natural that the company with his name on it would want to distance themselves from him as much as possible, in order to not completely tank their reputation. That’s where the Instagram post (via IGN) comes in:
Due to unfortunate circumstances, LexCorp Industries will be temporarily suspending it's global operations. When interviewed about his actions against a fallen alien, Lex Luthor responded with; "Ding, ding, ding, ding. Are we entering the second round?" We do not understand Mr. Luthor's actions and LexCorp does not take responsibility for his actions. Thank you for being patient.
The image in the Instagram post is that of a bald Lex Luthor that made the rounds prior to the movie’s release. The text accompanying the post is below:
“Due to unfortunate circumstances, LexCorp Industries will be temporarily suspending it’s global operations. When interviewed about his actions against a fallen alien, Lex Luthor responded with; ‘Ding, ding, ding, ding. Are we entering the second round?’ We do not understand Mr. Luthor’s actions and LexCorp does not take responsibility for his actions. Thank you for being patient.”
Of course, LexCorp Industries does not actually exist outside of Batman V Superman or the DC comics upon which it was based. Rather, the Instagram post was dreamed up by the movie’s marketing team. Still, a good viral marketing post gets people talking, and the topic of conversation suggested by this post is “What exactly would a real company do if it were associated with someone as heinous as Lex Luthor?” The problem for LexCorp is that it isn’t just associated with Lex Luthor; he also happens to be its owner and the person after whom it was named. It would be pretty hard for the company to distance itself from him in real life without changing its name entirely.
So is LexCorp really reformed, or will its dark side resurface along with the company’s founder? Will it be subject to a hostile takeover from Wayne Enterprises now that it has come upon hard times? Perhaps these questions will be answered in future movies taking place in the DCEU, such as Justice League Part One. For now, though, the fictional company’s fictional shareholders will have to keep an eye on its real Instagram account for further developments.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will see theatrical release on August 5th, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017;The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.