Hollywood is known for all things extravagant and innovative and as distribution companies continue to fight for an audience their marketing campaigns have become no exeption. The internet has become a catalyst for these newer and complex campaigns even in the early years of its inception.
Indie film, Blair Witch Project changed movie marketing forever with its revolutionary use of blurred narrative lines and transmedia tactics. The filmmakers themselves set up a website detailing the fictional 1785 legend the movie is centered around. The site is filled with police photos, missing person posters featuring the film’s actors, family interviews, and clips of news footage. Bringing elements into a real world context in an easily accessible and more importantly shareable content made the campaign explode world-wide. This small budgeted indie flick of $60,000 ended up making $250 million in worldwide box-offices, proving to big Hollywood executives the power of viral marketing.
Digital marketing effort in the 21st century have been more about making actors and filmmakers more accessible to audiences; making the movie going experience seem more personal. Rather than just focusing on trailer releases, distribution companies are scheduling google hangouts to directly answer fan questions and booking interviews for their actors on shows that primarily exist on YouTube. These YouTube interviews are extremely fan-centric and therefore focus more on the actors and their personalities rather than the actual films themselves.
Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal doing Wired Autocomplete interview to promote their new movie Life (2017)
Press junkets existed to in print advertisements and television but now most of this process has been digitized and exists primarily on social media and web platforms. Films have moved away from individualized websites and instead focus on creating individual profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These profiles are usually set up well in advance to the film’s wide release in order to catalogue its journey through the film festival circuit and highlight any awards it might pick up along the way.
As media consumers move away from cable tv and towards OTT services. Paid advertisements and post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have a become a main focus when trying to garner audience attention through the trailers specifically.