7 super smart and effective marketing campaigns

2013-08-27 12:13
Dragon skull promoting Game of Thrones
Cape Town - What makes you want to go see a movie, watch a TV series or buy an artist's music? Most of the time it depends on the quality of the content, but some times it just needs that extra promotional edge to push it into top ratings.

Companies spend millions on marketing their product and have to think out of the box. Some went so far out of the box they landed up in a different galaxy altogether.

1) The Blair Witch Project

The premise of this movie's marketing was to present it as if the footage is real. The filmmakers created a website where it gives detailed background on the myth of the witch, the surrounding area, the 'filmmakers' in the movie, including what happened after their 'disappearance'. They also circulated police reports, photos and interviews on the internet, all before social media. It's success was unprecedented as The Blair Witch Project went on to gross more the $200m and reinvented the way movies were marketed.

Imagine watching these trailers and thinking that it's real...

2) Discovery Channel's Shark Week

The Discovery Channel is well-known for its clever marketing campaigns, and Shark Week has heralded some of the most interesting. One which brought it home was the 2009 marketing campaign where shark-bitten surfboards were placed on popular beaches in Australia, which is seen as one of the leading surfing countries in the world. The boards had the logo of the channel on the board, as well as the dates for Shark Week.

We can't help but wonder if it put anyone off from going into the water though...

Shark Week surfboards in Australia

3) BlinkBox's Game of Thrones marketing

BlinkBox is UK's version of Netflix, and in order to celebrate their release of season three of Game of Thrones, their clever marketers, who were the same people to come up with giant Colin Firth statue, commissioned a massive real-life dragon skull that took two months to make. The skull was placed on Charmouth beach, known for its fossils, and confused many passers-by due to it's life-likeness.

For these marketers, it's go big or go home.

4) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

A very subtle campaign aimed at the die-hard fans of the book series, the producers of the movie launched a Capitol Couture fashion campaign, which highlights the oppressive Capitol district's obsession with high fashion. Two billboards were erected in New York and Los Angeles advertising fake Capitol products, one being the scent of Cinna, Katniss' stylist. The website hosts in-depth looks at the various district-inspired fashions as well as the low down on the Capitol's sweethearts Katniss and Peeta. It also gives the perception that the actual designers of the movie are Capitol designers.

Would you fall into this fashion trap?

Screenshot of the website:

Capitol Couture's website

One of the billboards:

5) Katy Perry's Prism

Katy Perry is currently busy with an interesting marketing campaign in which she posts various videos of her 'killing off' her California Gurls persona for a more edgy side, and last month she started a campaign to promote her upcoming album Prism by having a golden bus, with the release date of her album written across, travel the country and asking her Twitter followers to send her pics if they spot the bus.

She definitely has the golden ticket to stardom.

6) Annual Glee Flash Mob

Flash mobs are not as popular as they used to be, but they are still pretty effective as a marketing gimmick. Although this is a fan-created event, it still puts the TV series in the news and shows how important fans are in making a product publicly visible. The following is so big that the organisers have it in three venues in the city of Seattle, and has been going for four years.

Imagine trying to teach 500-plus people the same dance routine.

7) Jack Parow's Prison stint

Although many saw right through Jack Parow's alleged 'arrest' before he was supposed to perform at this year's Oppikoppi festival, it still created a lot of buzz for his performance and Captain Morgan was smart to participate in his "daring escape" from police custody. Cleverly, they also released a video which includes the entire stunt, from Parow's video sent from "prison" to Captain Morgan delivering him to the Oppikoppi masses.

Love him or hate him, Parow knows how to get the public's attention.

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