Gone are the days where a movie’s marketing could solely consist of some trailers, a few posters and lots and lots of interviews with the cast. Thanks to the internet and social media, movie studios have a quick and easy way of connecting with potential audiences. But, thanks to the internet and social media, our attention spans are a lot shorter, so studios have definitely had to get creative. What does this mean for us? Viral marketing campaigns – as we are currently seeing with the totally-out-of-left-field 10 Cloverfield Lane.
One of the earliest examples of viral marketing for movies was The Blair Witch Project. Back in 1999, before Facebook and Twitter were even a thing, The Blair Witch Project had a website up detailing all of its lore, with video snippets, news and interviews slowly being released to the public. With the actors listed as “missing, presumed dead” to keep up the hype that these film students really did disappear, they made no appearances either. All this shrouded the movie in mystery, culminating in a massively sold out opening, a huge return on investment, and a cult following.
While that kind of viral marketing campaign couldn’t be repeated today (now that we have Google), studios are still getting pretty inventive with how they generate hype. From the “Humans Only” poster for District 9 to the “Why So Serious” campaign from The Dark Night and yes, the original Cloverfield, there have been lots of successful (and not so successful) viral campaigns. Which has been your favourite?
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Last Updated: February 24, 2016