Competent promotion is an important component of the success of any product, including in the film industry.
Regardless of how famous the film studio or the actors who played in the new film, the film company must do everything to attract public attention to their new product. For low-budget films it is important to go international, and for films with solid budgets, it is important to pay for itself and not tarnish the reputation of the director. Therefore, there are a number of tricks that advertisers use in the modern world! We have selected 10 of the most outstanding movie advertising campaigns for you which are so unusual and striking that they are still being talked about on the Internet.
1. The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project is considered a mockumentary classic. It was shot on an initial budget of $35,000 and a post-production cost of $200,000. The film paid for itself hundreds of times over, earning its creators nearly $250 million worldwide. This made the film one of the most successful independent productions in the history of the film industry, and also ranks it at 41st place among the highest grossing horror films.
The plot of the film revolves around a group of students who set out to explore a forest where, according to legend, people have disappeared. At the end of the film (beware, spoiler!) the entire group goes missing and all that is left is the personal camera of the main character with a recording of the terrible events. To convince the audience of the reality of what is happening, the filmmakers declared the actors missing before the premiere. Thousands of flyers were printed with their photographs and a message about the disappearance, which the creators then distributed to universities and major festivals.
As a result, the film attracted full theaters in the first days of its showing, and most moviegoers were convinced that they were watching a real documentary filmed by one of the missing people. Even after the picture ended and the truth was discovered, many people could not believe that the film was just a movie.
Another pseudo-documentary film that decided to make its audience believe that everything filmed was real. The plot tells about three young guys who, having touched a fallen meteorite, received telekinesis powers and the ability to fly. Since it didn't have a large advertising budget (the entire cost of the film was $12 million), the creators decided to bet on creativity. And they didn't fail! So several drones in the form of human figures were launched into the sky over New York. They circled in the sky for about ten minutes. The people who saw the "people flying around the city" quickly spread this gossip throughout the United States. The organizers of the promotion even recorded it on video, which subsequently went viral and thereby attracted the attention of moviegoers to see the film. As a result, the film grossed $126.6 million.
3. Carrie (2013)
A horror film based on Stephen King's famous novel Carrie. As you might guess from the title of the film, it tells the story of a schoolgirl from a very religious family who suddenly discovered the ability to move objects with the power of her mind. Which, however, ended for her and for everyone around her very bad.
A cafe in the center of New York was converted to shoot a promotional video (more precisely, a promo prank). When enough visitors had gathered there for a cup of coffee and sweets, a specially hired actress pretending to be just another customer began to pretend to argue with a man. As a result, with the help of equipment hidden from the other customers, she lifts the man into the air and then knocks over the table and staged a meltdown, making only a couple of gestures with her hands and shreaking. Of course, the unprepared cafe patrons believed that they were eyewitnesses of real telekinesis, and the recorded video racked up over 70 million views on YouTube and made the film popular.
4. Jurassic World
The creators of the sequel to the film "Jurassic Park" with Chris Pratt in the lead role collaborated with Amazon. As part of their advertising campaign, a truck with an unusual design cruised the streets of Los Angeles. It sported the emblem of the film and stickers warning that the truck was transporting a living and very dangerous creature - a real dinosaur.
5. District 9
District 9 is a sci-fi movie in which aliens live next door to humans in an area specially designed for them. Before the premiere, the creators of the picture launched a website similar to the website of an official state structure which set out the rules of conduct for residents of district 9 under the banner "For those who came to us from space." The "For People" tab described the rules for supporting the foreign guests and precautions they should take.
At the same time, "People Only" signs began to appear in public places in Johannesburg (the city in South Africa where the events of the film take place) and major cities in the United States, supposedly forbidding entry to aliens.
Given that the producer of the film, Peter Jackson, began to reveal the details of the film only a couple of weeks before the premiere, people did not immediately understand what the mysterious website and the similar signs meant. A lot of rumors were born around them. As a result, the film not only fully paid for itself and raked in profit for its creators, but also received 4 Oscar nominations.
6. The Hobbit
Despite the fact that Tolkien's universe is like a cult, and every fan was looking forward to the film "The Hobbit", its creators were concerned about high-quality promotion. As a result, Peter Jackson (yes, the same director who made District 9), being a New Zealander, turned to his native country for help. Since New Zealand has long been associated with Middle-earth among fans of the series, the capital of the country, Wellington, was officially renamed "Middle-earth" for three weeks before the premiere of the film. This name was used by local media, delivery services, and even government officials, the news of which, of course, thundered around the whole world and thereby announced the imminent release of The Hobbit.
New Zealand Air also supported the release of the film by making a new video about its safety rules on board their aircraft. Hobbits, elves, and dwarves from Tolkien's books became passengers instead of people, thanks to which the video received more than 20 million views.
Even before the release of the film, Deadpool was a fairly popular American superhero of Marvel comics. But still, only those who were actively interested in these comics knew about him. In addition, this superhero, unlike Captain America with a traditional image and character, is quite specific due to his humor and contradictory actions. In order to attract viewers who were not previously interested in comics to go and see both parts of the film, their creators began to launch comical and "cryptic" Deadpool posters online.
For example, to advertise Deadpool as a "great Valentine's Day movie", a pseudo-romantic poster was made with the lead actor without his red and black mask. Popular films in America were also parodied, such as the poster with the protagonist of Ferris Bueller's Day Off or the chair scene from the 1983 film Flashdance with Jennifer Beals. Even references to works of art were launched (for example, a parody of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam) and Christmas posters with Deadpool in a knitted sweater.
8. The Muppets
By the way, the technique of parodying other characters or headlines on posters is used quite often. For example, in 2011 Disney's feature film The Muppets also stole recognizable imagery and styles from other popular films. This was done in order to remind the modern generation who these plush characters are, and to draw attention to them through association with heroes that are more relevant today. So, some posters of "Muppets" parodied the vampire "Twilight" and Marvel comic movies.
Another pseudo-documentary film that decided to attract the attention of moviegoers with mystery. The plot tells about an alien attack on New York, during which a group of young people are trying to escape. The first trailer that was shown in cinemas did not contain a premiere date, not even the name of the film or any text - just an excerpt filmed on a video camera by the main character with the destruction of buildings in the background. Of course, such an aura of mystery around an unknown fragment made people start to "dig" deeper into its origin. However, information about the film was kept strictly secret until its release. Of course, this was a huge risk for the film to fail, but the creators managed to achieve the desired effect, and they grossed $171 million on a budget of only $25 million.
10. The Ring Two
Almost everyone has heard about the movie "The Ring" in one way or another, where a scary ghost girl kills everyone who watches her videotape. To advertise the sequel to the movie, the creators of the film decided to "scare" fans by sending a scene from this videotape over the Internet. At the end of the clip people were reassured by giving a link to the official website of the film's premiere. However, there was a version of the promotion for more "bloodthirsty" fans. The creators of the film launched a website where you could enter the phone number and email address of any of your acquaintances, after which this person received the same video in their messages. As soon as a person watched the video, they immediately received a call from a bot on their phone with the very famous phrase "Seven days left!".
In short, film companies will go to any length in order to surpass their competitors and collect a big box office performance! Such creative techniques can be used in any business - the main thing to remember is to correctly adapt your ideas for your audience. And, of course, do not go too far! To do this, you need to learn marketing, which many online Lectera courses are devoted to.
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