A major ad-campaign on the web, TV and billboards for a fake TV show turns out to be a big ad for new LG flat-screen televisions.

The ads for ‘Scarlet’ were popping up on Gawker, Variety, and E!, and they all featured smokin’ hot model-actress Natassia Malthe kicking-ass and blowing stuff up. Even the website, plugged in the ads, didn’t give any inkling that this wasn’t really a new TV series, but actually a ‘series of new TVs’.

According to the Associated Press (AP), it was all revealed to a group of insider-Hollywood-types last night at ‘the premiere’ at the Pacific Design Center. Even Lindsay Lohan got all dolled up and attended the premiere. But it doesn’t sound like the press in attendance were happy about being duped. As the ploy of a clever marketing campaign, many were disappointed and not amused by the deception.

The series was also hyped as being a new creation by director David Nutter, the man behind ‘The Sopranos” and “Smallville”, which probably increased the attention given to it.

The strange part about the whole campaign is that there is no reference or depiction of a new product in the ads. The website promoting the new series features trailers, behind the scenes videos, and interviews with the director and cast. Once you’re aware of the rouse, going back and watching the promotional clips is bizarre. There are all these tongue in cheek references to ‘this new TV star’, ‘nothing we’ve seen before’, ‘will change the face of TV as we know it’.

It’s kind of like all those cool secret websites and finds for stuff like Lost and Cloverfield. But the guys at LG capitalized on all that hype and inserted a fake TV show to promote a new product.

I’m a little disappointed, because surprisingly ‘the show’ looked pretty cool. Reminded me a lot of that crappy ‘Elektra’ move with Jennifer Garner, but might have been worth a viewing.

When interviewing Tim Alessi, LG director of product development and advertising, the AP reports:

The company won’t say how much they’ve spent on the global campaign, although Alessi confirms it was millions more than a typical product launch in the U.S.

Well was it all really worth it? I hope David Nutter got paid a huge amount, because I don’t know if anyone can take him seriously after this. Once you go over that edge, what will your fans think?

On LG’s end, it’s pretty brilliant. They got all this attention on both ends. Hype leading up the fake launch, and then on the other end with backlash (meaning: more hype) on the product after the big reveal.

Can’t wait to see what sales are like on this thing. Let us know what you think of this campaign in the comments section.

AP: ‘Secret’ of ‘Scarlet’ revealed, April 29, 2008

Pocket-lint: LG tricks press with ‘Scarlet’ TV series premier, April 29, 2008