Marketing has changed immensely over the years, and sometimes we tend to forget that not only the marketing itself changes its strategies but that some products, or in this case movies and TV series make the drastic change. Movie marketing has a great opportunity to become very entertaining and engaging. Read more if you want to know how these series and movies were revolutionary for the marketing world!
The Blair Witch Project – Viral Movie Marketing
The movie had a simple premise:
“In October 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found….”
The campaign started in 1999, a year before the official release of the movie when a distribution company Artisan Entertainment set up a website claiming that the urban legend about a witch haunting the rural area around Maryland was true. One of the major events was the disappearance of 3 students who were shooting a documentary about The Blair Witch. On the website, police reports and interviews were released further insinuating that the legend was real. Besides the online marketing, they also put missing person posters around college campuses, and when you tried to look up the actors on IMDB the page would say “missing, presumed dead”.
The campaign lived up to today’s viral marketing standards, and most certainly exceeded the standards in 1999. Giving viral movie marketing a massive jumpstart. With a $60.000 budget, this low-budget production earned a spot in the top five highest earning independent films of all time with a total earning of $248 million.
Pretty Little Liars – Social Media
The mystery series always trying to answer the question “who is A?” The series, in general, has many twists and changes in its plot and raised more questions after each episode than answers. Therefore, Pretty little liars was a huge game changer in the online viral marketing. They saw the rise of social media as a chance to become a platform for discussion and debates. It’s still the most social TV show in television history. Ranking more than 256 million engagements across all social media platforms in 2016.
ABC has made an entire viral marketing strategy, and showrunners have received social media training to understand how to engage with fans online. The stars on the show use twitter Q&As and Facebook live videos to promote upcoming episodes. The writers and directors post script snippets or behind the scenes footage to hype fans. This is how Pretty Little Liars has changed the way television uses online marketing and social media platforms.
Get Out – Ethical Discussions
The movie released its first trailer a few months before its release on February 2017. During the campaign, the plot was hidden, but it also fired up a great number of discussions about racial attitudes. Because the protagonist of the movie is shown having to deal with subconscious racism and microaggressions form white people that are very common. Movie marketing made this movie grow out to become just as big as a blockbuster before the release, and it was the beginning of the racial discussion of this decade in the online world. All that also made the movie the highest-grossing debut film based on an original screenplay of all time, the second highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and the most profitable movie of the year, making $175 million.
Stranger Things – Technology
The series introducing a whole new marketing strategy by building a bridge between the generational gaps. If you grew up in the 80’s you probably loved the show with all the nostalgic elements, but millennials and centennials also binge-watched the show. The campaign leading up to season two was a huge buzz on its own, and because of this, many brands could partner up with the show and profit from its popularity. This was not only good for these brands but also increased the publicity for Stranger Things.
The show also jumped on the technology bandwagon by releasing a 360-degree virtual reality video that got over 2 million views. It allowed the viewers to put themselves into the most famous sets of the show. It also spared their viral marketing by releasing a VR-filter on Facebook for the season two premiere.