Before marketing for the movie began, I had never heard of the book A Simple Favor. The majority of the movie’s targeted demographic probably hadn’t either. However, when one of the leading actresses, Blake Lively, deleted every post on her Instagram and unfollowed her equally successful husband, Ryan Reynolds, the world noticed. Aside from the fact that she humbling retains over 23 million followers, a complete deletion of a celebrity account is always noticed. Soon after the purge of content, Blake posted cryptic messages that hinted at the tagline of A Simple Favor , which was “What happened to Emily?” This gained a great deal of media attention, and book sales went through the roof. Not to mention, it got the social media conversation started. Blake began this campaign months ago, which gave her plenty of time to upload a steady stream of movie related content to her page. Almost every post she has made has had a least one reference to the movie. Which means, at a minimum, 23 million people were well aware of A Simple Favor‘s future coming. The movie hit theaters Friday with a solid $16 million box office opening weekend.
So the question is, would this movie had been nearly as successful as it was without Blake’s Instagram marketing tactics? Personally, I think not. It was not a well known book and does not follow the cookie cutter mold of movies in today’s cinematic scene. However, this digital tactic brought it to the forefront of people’s minds and paved a way for smaller movies to be the focus of conversation.