For the release of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, Amazon Prime made sure people knew the movie existed, but it is not first creative marketing for film.
With the power that the internet has in this day and age, when it comes to promoting a movie, trailers just aren’t enough. Studios have to pull out all the stops to get butts in seats, whether it’s trying to fool potential viewers into thinking a horror movie is a true story, or even making people believe human beings are flying through New York.
With the recent release of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, Amazon Prime did everything and anything to make sure people knew the movie existed, but it isn’t the first time a studio has gotten creative with its marketing.
10 Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
The controversial movie that has caused a ton of responses from celebrities first started causing responses from observant members of the public, as floating Borats were dispersed across the world. Though civilians didn’t need to be that observant, as the floats were gigantic. On top of that, Prime went full storm ahead as they issued cutouts with hand sanitizers attached to Borat’s crotch.
9 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Though some marketing campaigns are crazy, they don’t always work. Marketing for David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was all fairly standard except for one completely unnecessary expense. Huge metal posters that were shaped like giant razor blades were designed for the movie, but it’s unlikely that it encouraged people to see it who weren’t already planning on it. And as the movie underperformed, it’s safe to say that the gimmick didn’t exactly pan out.
8 Zombieland: Double Tap
With the original movie becoming something of a hit and one of the most treasured comedies of the 2000s (not to mention that it features one of the best cameos in movie history,) the sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap had a lot to live up to. As a sequel it had the unfortunate potential to end up being like Dumb And Dumber To or Zoolander 2.
Double Tap’s marketing was ingenious, using the viral #10yearchallenge as a template for its posters. It was fun seeing the same characters in the same poses ten years later, and it seemed to help the movie’s success too.
In what is one of the most elaborate pieces of viral marketing in recent years, Chronicle’s promotional efforts led people to believe that there were genuinely people flying through the sky. As the movie follows a group of teenagers who gain superpowers, mainly that they can all fly, it only makes sense that 20th Century Fox would generate buzz by having human shaped RC planes fly around New York.
6 Snakes On A Plane
Snakes On A Plane might be one of the worst movies of the 21st century, but the marketing team pulled out all the stops for one of the funniest marketing campaigns in recent memory. If people entered a phone number on the website with the name of the person whose phone it was, they’d get a personalized message from none other than Samuel L. Jackson (or an impersonator, at least).
5 Toy Story 3
Despite being an animated movie that, in theory, is aimed at children, Pixar knew exactly who was excited for Toy Story 3 and marketed the movie towards them. Being one of the most anticipated sequels ever, the people who were most excited for Toy Story 3 were actually 20-somethings who were fans of the first two movies when they were kids. Disney marketed the movie by showing “cliffhanger screenings” in colleges, which showed the first 60 minutes of the movie to get students excited.
4 The Simpsons Movie
Think what you want about the movie, but this marketing campaign for The Simpsons Movie brought fans’ dreams to life. Though the character of Apu no longer exists, real life Kwik-E-Marts popped up in various locations. The idea was made into a reality with 7 Eleven, which turned ten of its locations in the US in to the iconic store. It even sold classic Simpsons beverages, including Buzz Cola and Squishees.
It might be one of the best found footage movies, but at the end of the day, it’s still just another found footage movie. People may have forgotten by now, but Cloverfield was very of the moment and the whole excitement surrounding the movie was based entirely on its marketing.
So much information about the world of Cloverfield was trickled out onto the internet through random websites, including ones for frozen drinks and even one related to some fictional eco-terrorists, both of which are related to Cloverfield’s universe.
2 The Dark Knight
Not only has The Dark Knight remained Christopher Nolan’s best movie, but it also had one of the director’s most interesting marketing campaigns too. Unusually, the promotion for the movie began almost a year before The Dark Knight was released. It started with graffitied Joker cards hidden in comic book stores, and soon enough, fake advertisements that saw Harvey Dent campaigning for district attorney.
1 The Blair Witch Project
It is one of the first examples of viral marketing and utilizing online space. The method behind the marketing was to make people believe that the movie was really a documentary and that the documentarians had really gone missing. Missing person leaflets were printed and links were shared in online forums, which was a new thing at the time, about the strange disappearance. The Blair Witch Project’s marketing is the reason that led the movie to become one of the highest grossing independent movies ever made.
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