Saturday, October 10, 2009

‘Paranormal Activity’ is this decade’s ‘Blair Witch Project’ thanks to Internet marketing

A new horror movie has masterfully used social media to create a grassroots marketing campaign to build buzz for the flick.
The distributors of “Paranormal Activity” promised to put the movie into nationwide release if it reached 1 million online demands at its Web site. It spread the word on Twitter, through blogs and movie news Web sites.
Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, plans to release the movie nationwide on Oct. 16.
The marketing strategy for “Paranormal Activity” is similar to one used by “The Blair Witch Project” (1999). The producers of “Blair Witch” used the Internet to generate interest in the movie. Their campaign included a Web site that alleged that the fictional documentary film was real.
The wide release for “Paranormal Activity” was never in doubt. The film has earned rave reviews and is garnering 90% positive reviews on RottenTomatoes.com.
For the strategy to be successful, a film has to deliver the goods. “The Blair Witch Project” did so and was a huge hit. “Snakes on a Plane” (2006) earned tons of pre-release coverage and had an ingenious online campaign, but it bombed at the box office because it didn’t live up to the hype.

Related material:
Official movie Web site for “Paranormal Activity”
Press release announcing nationwide release of the movie

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