Friday, January 18, 2008

Cloverfield: Don’t believe the hype?

This morning, a small section of our office had been debating whether or not Cloverfield is a bad movie with good marketing or a good movie but only if you don’t pay attention to the marketing.

Thanks to Getty Images who furnished my colleagues and I with tickets to watch the screening at VivoCity which I thought was an “awesome” movie – however, my colleagues had far less enthusiasm for it and after a few more “awesomes” from me this morning…I was hardly the most popular man at Lighthouse.

So what is the cause of this polarised opinion? Taking out of consideration that certain genres of movies just don’t appeal to some – I reckon the marketing and the hype the filmmakers attempted to stir prior to its release should take some of the blame.

The colleague, who had the most negative things to say about the movie, was the one in the office who knew the most about the movie, and had seen its viral marketing efforts, and was already raving about the film she hadn’t seen. In short, she was the one who had been infected the heaviest by Cloverfield’s viral marketing game plan which involved the strategic release of two trailers with the first trailer disclosing the release date and not the movie title, and second trailer confirming the title months later.

The appearance of an untitled trailer fuelled media speculation over the film’s plot that generated global hype and in the case of my colleague – led her to put the film on a pedestal just as so many did with the Blair Witch Project where an amazing amount of people within your inner circle of friends passed on the message that you’re about to watch the most scariest show ever… I was pretty disappointed at the end of that show.

This time however, I didn’t buy into the hype and watched Cloverfield without knowing anything about the film except that it was going to be told from the point of view of the protagonist’s video camera and that the statue of liberty’s head gets ripped off – cool I thought to myself.

At the end of the day, the basic success measurement of the marketing will be judge on crowd numbers that watch the film but it will interesting to wait and see what happens when disappointed film-goers start ripping into film via online platforms. Will that make more people want to see the film to judge for themselves or will it deter people from buying a ticket?

If you go to watch the film though, make sure you sit near the back because the shaky camera theme can be nauseating to some.


vinyarb said...

Like you, I think i'm one of the few who did enjoy Cloverfield. But I did get sucked into the viral campaign, which I think was very well created, save for some timeline discrepancy, which has not been resolved.

For me, immersing in the viral campaign actually helped me understand the movie more, and provided a fuller picture than those who watched based on the trailer alone, or worse, watched the movie without knowing what to expect.

Innovation strategy consulting Asia said...

Expect a lot more product / service marketing via Utube and other Dailymotion platforms.
As Utube portal carries more than a billion videos it will be a real goldmine for marketers hoping to place low priced advertisement and sneaky viral marketing campaigns.

Ultimately we will see on Utube advertisement produced by viewers, disguised and and real product reviews, real and fake viral campaign, and denigration campaigns. Large companies will ultimately require a Utube employee as part of their Marcom team. Foresight food for thoughts!

Damien Duhamel
Managing Director Asia Pacific
kae: marketing intelligence