Here at MovieViral.com, we cover any thing from viral campaigns to the social media aspects of a movie or television show. Here in the U.S. and overseas, viral marketing has given fans the opportunity to be a part of the movie going experience in more ways than just purchasing a ticket. You can vote for outcomes, read interviews from the characters in the film, take part in scavenger hunts, decode a mystery message, and more. If it has anything to do with a viral campaign, we are going to be there to cover it.
Now with the year coming to an end, we are looking back at some of the most memorable viral campaigns of the year. For some of these movies haven’t even come out yet, but they have already left their mark with strong and extensive viral marketing. So hit the jump to see what our favorites of the year are.
Ending up on the bottom of this top 10 is Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland. The film was originally scheduled for a 2014 holiday release, but was pushed back for a summer 2015 release. But before the film was rescheduled, Tomorrowland had one of the most intriguing viral campaigns of the year. Even before The Optimist website was launched, the mystery box, which contained Walt Disney relics that inspired the film, had everyone interested. While the viral campaign was running, The Optimist website had everyone, Disney fans and more, going on scavenger hunts in Walt’s old hang outs to this year’s D23 Expo. Unfortunately, it was halted since it was rescheduled, but we could see it revived once again later in 2014/2015.
The film that proved that you can greenlight a movie solely based on fan funding via kickstarter. The Veronica Mars movie proved that the crowd funding method can work, given the right incentive. It took only 11 hours for the Kickstarter project to reach it’s goal of $2 million. By April, fans had pledged $5.2 million, well above the goal that Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell had set. Fans donated anything from $1 to $100 to $10,000, and anyone pledged to the cause received a token of thanks that can come in the form of t-shirts, cell phone greetings, walking the red carpet premiere, and of course a small role in the film. Its success also had its imitators, and not all of them had the same success. Remember Darcy’s Walk Of Shame? In the end, film development has been revolutionized thanks in part to the success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter.
Star Trek Into Darkness
There were a lot of things to like about the Star Trek Into Darkness’ viral campaign. The marketing team got the fans involved with easter egg hunts, the search for the 1701 – a website that could have easily been missed if you blinked during the trailer – , and fan inspired art work. The fact that they kept the villain of the movie such a mystery may have led to the film’s box office success; although that is debatable considering how many people already suspected the villain was Kahn, despite what Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and cast have said. Still Star Trek Into Darkness had a strong viral presence with timely event related material, and clever ways to engage the fans.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Sadly we didn’t give this film it’s much deserved coverage, but we are going to give credit where credit is due. Building upon the already successful viral campiagn from the first Hunger Games movie – using the same capitol.pn site and the Capitol Couture fashion blog, Catching Fire introduced new ways to get fans excited for the film. The #ticktock12 campaign was one giant countdown to the film’s release. For 12 straight weeks, the Lionsgate marketing team would release songs from the official soundtrack, announced that advanced tickets were going on sale, held a contest to attend the premiere of the film. Tying it all in with social media spread the fire (like that pun) even further, as fans continued to fan the flames of high interest by using the #ticktock12 hashtag. If the fans kept coming back for more, then you know you have a significant, scratch that, a successful viral campaign on your hands.
This one didn’t go under our radar as much, but it was a viral campaign that could have gone virtually unknown if you weren’t paying attention. Luckily that wasn’t the case. The film had already generated some interest thanks in part to the positive reviews it received during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. Lionsgate then picked it up for distribution. The fearful notion that people could actually be hunting other peopel for fun, got the marketing team leave their mark by putting animal masks of famous Los Angeles statues or very ominous outlines of the animals behind the mayhem. The team also delivered the same animal masks worn in the film to various movie blogs, including our very own.