NERD THOUGHTS: Why Films Need Better Viral Marketing Campaigns

Feb 9, 2015

In this century (the 21st century *Pushes up glasses*), social media outlets pop up on a regular basis. If it’s not Facebook, it’s Twitter. Not a Tumblr fan? Ok maybe you should try Pinterest. Don’t like Instagram? Vine’s for you.

But do the films that get released at the theaters that are a stones throw away from our front lawns use these outlets to their advantage?

No, they don’t. The most you’ll see a film do is use these websites or apps to post ads. “Check out [Enter film title here] in theaters on August 2nd!“. They don’t truly grasp the opportunities that they have in front of them. There are several different ways and options for doing this stuff, but what are those options? In this article I plan on just giving a few examples for specific films that studios could use for marketing these movies.

#1: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

A film about comic book characters, it practically sells itself. But there is more you can do to it to draw people to their local theater and pay $14.95 USD. I’m talking having people in Batman and Superman costumes, showing up at places like ‘The Today Show’ or ‘Good Morning America’.

Heck, doctor up a fake news paper that talks about a masked vigilante seen in the dark skies, and sell that thing for a dollar in local comic book shops. Include a small little URL that people can type into their phone or tablet and it takes them to an official website for the film. But sitting on your butt and simply making a twitter ad or banner on the side of a bus won’t do as much as it could.

#2: Captain America: Civil War

This one can work in a lot of ways. One I thought of was if the studio that is behind this film put together an ad that looked like an address by some government official, as they talked about registering super powered people. Even go the extra mile and have Robert Downy Jr. in the ad standing beside the person behind the microphone. That alone will do two things: have people at first question if its real, and then want to know some backstory behind whatever is taking place. That’ll get buzz for the film. Seeing as how gullible people on the internet are, they’d wonder “OMG whats going on?” or “THEY LIVE AMONG US”. Stuff like that will make sure a ton of people show up to pay for this film.

#3: Deadpool

Now this one you can really have some fun with. You could shoot a video and post it on YouTube in the the style of a ransom video. Have it look serious, maybe the person being held hostage is an Italian prime minster or something. Off screen you hear someone using a voice disguiser talking in a really low and creepy voice. Just try to make the situation look really dire and sad, then suddenly the voice disguiser cuts off. You hear the person off screen’s normal voice, as they start getting upset about not having enough double A’s or something. Then the camera would turn around and show Deadpool sitting in a bean-bag chair with a cap on his head that says ‘director’. I mean creative stuff like that, something that will make people’s heart race then suddenly calm is what I’m talking about.

#4: Independence Day 2 (Can’t believe they’re making a second one…)

For this you could make a 5 minute documentary, put it on the sci-fi channel or something. Have it be about sightings of extraterrestrial activity in the past few years. Make it kinda scary, something where viewers would be on the edge of their seats. They’d be biting their finger nails and, like the other movie campaigns listed above, questioning it’s authenticity. And to give it that extra oomph, have the narrator talk about some type of radio waves that can be picked up. Set it up where someone could actually find a radio channel that matches up to the one in the video, and it’d be strange clicking sounds. It’d make the hair on the back of their neck stand up.

Now you may be wondering “Who knows how to do all this stuff with radios” and I don’t know, but just do it. Just be creative with these films. Don’t give it next to nothing in effort, these studios need to try their hardest to make something interesting that will grasp people’s attention before the film is released, something more than a trailer. As I said in the beginning of this article, they need to get the audience involved…

But hey, I’m just some dude on the internet trying to make money to take his “History of Ladders” class.

What do I know?

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