Men in Black (1997)
Marketing teams go out of their way to get potential viewers to watch the movie once, but few are confident enough to get them to watch it a second time. But that’s exactly what the second round of marketing did with Men In Black after the film came out a few weeks ago.
5N4K3ii reminds Redditors of a short TV commercial in which Agent J flashes the Neuralyzer at the audience, which erases the characters’ memories in the film. Then “Men in Black: see it again for the first time” flashes on the screen. The Neuralyzer is one of the reasons the film is one of the best non-superhero comic films, and the Redditor calls the TV ad a “clever use of in-world technology”.
When the Cloverfield trailer first released, the audience had no idea what it was. When the head of the Statue of Liberty landed in the middle of a New York street, it might as well have been a disaster movie as it was a monster movie. Avaldeso recalls that there wasn’t even a proper title in the trailers, just a release date. I really thought it was a Lost spin-off or a Godzilla movie.
It just goes to show that the studios don’t have to tell the full story in the trailer as the movie’s secret is exactly what drew audiences into multiplexes in the first place. And while fans are still waiting for the sequel to Cloverfield, no marketing will generate as much buzz that surrounded the original.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park had such a complex marketing campaign, and there were several levels. It wasn’t just the classic “65 million years in the making” slogan that caught people’s attention.
While not everyone would have experienced the harsh marketing as it seemed restricted to certain areas, Eulielee explains that the billboards in her area have all been torn up, “like some kind of monster scratched them.” And the following week, they were all replaced with Jurassic Park posters. It was a brilliant way of promoting the film as it was essentially telling the audience that if they want to see the dinosaurs they have to buy a ticket.
The Matrix (1999)
Just like with Cloverfield, the marketing of The Matrix played a role in ensuring that the audience had no idea what the film was about. Reddit user JynXten notes that “It was very mysterious and mysterious. Everyone wanted to see what it was about and when we did we were blown away.”
Marketing for the 1999 film literally asked the audience, “What is the Matrix?” And that question created so much hype about the film. Fortunately, it was one of the few times a film could meet such high audience expectations, and it was a huge box-office hit for the Wachowskis.
Donnie Darko (2001)
The jaw-dropping sci-fi movie Donnie Darko had fans scratching their heads for years, and potential audiences did so even before the film was released. PaxEtRomana notes that promoting the film there was an “interactive flash website that was bizarre and cryptic and that adds to the story”.
Given that the movie is so confusing and there are so many fan theories about Donnie Darko, the website didn’t do much to help solve the mystery. It was still so fascinating, however, and fans could be immersed in all of this cryptic messages for hours trying to decipher what was really going on.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Trvlgirrl remembers how the film’s title was shortened to T2, and despite the ambiguous-sounding abbreviation, there was so much hype about Terminator 2 that everyone knew what it meant. Redditor recalls how it first happened after Judgment Day, “everything after that also became an abridged version”.
While the film had one of the best and most memorable marketing campaigns of all time, it was also one of the worst, and for some fans it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. In the movie, the big reveal is that the T-800, which was a villain in the first movie, is now on the good side, but that twist was spoiled in the trailer.
It seems like no other genre besides Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project has a more creative marketing than horror, as the marketing team behind Scream got resourceful too. ProphetofNothing explains that the film was marketed as a Drew Barrymore-directed film that would have gotten so many butts in the seats considering she was at the height of her popularity at the time.
But what makes the marketing so funny is that the actress can only be seen in the first scene as she is the first victim of the Ghostface killer. The Redditor believes that because she was the biggest star in the movie, “the movie wouldn’t work if they didn’t.”
Night Crawler (2014)
Nightcrawler had a creative and very old-fashioned marketing campaign that used social networks to advertise the film in an inventive way. That doesn’t mean there were paid promotions in the form of banners scrawled at the top of the websites, but the marketing team created Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for the sociopathic character Lou Bloom.
Shamgod thought it was “really cool trying to immerse the audience in the movie before it even got out”. Given that Bloom commits and even kills crimes to climb the corporate ladder, his social media accounts have been satirical and insightful.
Godzilla may not be the most critically acclaimed or most discussed movie after people saw it, but it was the only thing that got people thinking before the blockbuster was released. As Severer37 notes, the film was marketed in a way that compelled potential audiences to seriously consider the sheer size of the monster.
The Reddit user recalls that “there were buses with banners saying, ‘His foot is as big as this bus'”. At the same time, however, the film had the ridiculous slogan “Size Matters”, which makes the marketing campaign pretty bittersweet.
Before the film was released, Batman was everywhere, but the name was very rarely mentioned. The marketing expertly made the bat symbol something that was instantly iconic as it was the only one on the teaser posters. McClane88 recalls that “even in the trailers, they never actually said ‘Batman’.”
Even excited fans marketed the film for Warner Bros. as everyone was walking around in Batman t-shirts and belts with a Bat symbol buckle. The logo became a fashion accessory that also made non-fans enthusiastic about the film.
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