It is the age of social media, and we must accept that marketing campaigns can create hype for movies and, in some cases detremine, how successful these movies can be. As the level of competition rises, marketers have to pick up the pace and come out with new and original ideas and just having big budget movies does not ensure success in this day and age.
Here are our top picks of movies that were marketed extensively on social media and left a mark.
The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project is the OG when you talk about movies that have been marketed on social media and still are termed and studied as one of the best movie marketing campaigns even after 20+ years of its release.
Remember that it was a lot harder to create hype in 1999 especially when the Internet and social media mostly consisted of chat rooms and websites.
Establishing unease among the public was the major goal of the Blair Witch Project’s marketing effort. Every single strategy used centred on creating uncertainty in the minds of potential moviegoers. Every marketing effort was made to stoke this fire and pique viewers’ attention to the point where they would watch the movie, discuss it with their friends, and question whether it was real in order to increase the number of people who would go see it.They spread misinformation by handing out missing person flyers, posting images from police records, and even paying tiny local media to write fictitious news articles on the missing people and their whereabouts. This word-of-mouth advertising began with core messages in alignment.
The new generation might have met Robert Pattison as Batman and Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, but the OG’s know them as Bella and Edward from the infamous Twilight series. The massive following that Twilight had was not common for movies at the time.
Through the promotion of items and the creation of a super-fandom community for a female protagonist who viewers can identify with, Twilight’s marketing campaign positioned consumption as a means of establishing personal identity. Infatuation with vampires was not just a movement associated with Stephenie Meyer’s series; it was also a way of life that drove girls and women to develop an obsession with the fantasy that, for them, became a reality. This obsession could be seen in everything from merchandise to fan pages and social media compulsions.
Twilight’s use of Facebook changed everything. Because Twilight has more than 19 million Facebook fans, we can leverage Facebook advertising that is specifically targeted as a primary strategy for selling tickets online for the event. Clicking on the advertisement causes it to appear on the user’s Facebook page, making it easier to buy online.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games was destined to become popular as a film based on a well-known book. However, the series’ social media awareness campaigns are really what are to claim for its success. Before the first film was released, a social media campaign emerged that allowed viewers to live in an imaginary world.
Users who log in using Twitter and Facebook may receive a special pass as part of the campaign’s usage of its virtual environment to foster genuine interaction. Additionally, each district held member elections and maintained a Facebook page. This astute decision-making contributed to the movie’s popularity among its existing supporters and the general public.
And with new hunger games movies coming out, the hunger games Instagram pages have swung into action to promote it and get the word out and about.
The Black Panther
The movie that proved how representation matters. It is not a secret that the black panther movie was skillfully targeted at African Americans.
The grassroots-level campaigning, which led to the #blackpanther challenge on Instagram, Twitter and more, made the film gain fame in a very organic yet impactful way.
Thanks to funds raised by New York marketing expert Frederic Joseph, a group of Harlem Boys and Girls Club was sent to see the movie as a whole. Three hundred kids were given free tickets to the movie thanks to Joseph’s GoFundMe campaign, which raised thousands of dollars in just a few days.
The outpouring of support inspired Joseph to start the #BlackPantherChallenge, which inspired others to start internet campaigns to get the movie in front of kids in underserved neighbourhoods.
We have to mention the cultural part of marketing that took place; Black Panther was one of the 1st mainstream movies that showed a black lead to a wealthy, powerful king of a technologically advanced black country and this sort of representation was not ever seen before and the movie itself was beautifully assembled.
Paranormal Activity’s marketing team understood the assignment; the way they understood the power of user-generated content in social media and managed to leverage it and turn it into user-generated advertising was absolutely genius on a marketing level.
The movie was first shown in seven US cities on September 25, 2009. It was subsequently screened in 12 more college towns, and then, with the campaign launch, it was released nationwide. The sole driving force behind this film’s expansion was its audience. Paramount said they would only release the movie nationally if it obtained 1 million clicks on the Internet from those who “Demanded It” for their town. Paranormal Activity was one of the first movies to leverage viral marketing and incorporate social media into their advertising.