5 Genius Viral Videos For 2009 Movies

Viral marketing campaigns for movies are nothing new, but with the huge success of the Dark Knight Why So Serious publicity overload, lots of new films are trying it.

Here are the examples we’re enjoying for this year’s movies so far…

Terminator Salvation

What’s the idea? The Salvation team have slowly been rolling out their campaign, focused mostly on Skynet and Cyberdyne systems.

We’re supposed to believe that Cyberdyne is real and they want to give us all the Skynet Enhancement Module 101, which we’re supposed to attach to a handy nearby robot. Yeah, that can’t end well.

How effective is it? It’s definitely been grabbing attention, since it features something you can actually get hold of.

That said, it’s a slightly shoddy plastic doohickey that doesn’t do much. But it keeps the Skynet name out there.[page-break]

Gentlemen Broncos

What’s the idea? Meet Ronald Chevalier, author, thinker, and musician. If there’s a level beyond Renaissance man, he’s it. And sometimes he scares himself with his own thoughts.

In reality, it’s an ad for Jared Hess’ new film, which sees a young aspiriting writer (Michael Angarano) have his idea pinched by his increasingly plot-starved hero, Chevalier (Flight Of The Conchords’ Jermaine Clement).

How effective is it? Clement does a great, Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace-esque line in studied lunacy.

Chevalier already feels like a great cult character and provided they don’t overuse him in the eventual film, we’re already excited to see it and they haven’t even released a trailer yet.[page-break]

2012

What’s the idea? They’ve promised us all the usual apocalyporn from Roland Emmerich, but the marketing gurus behind his latest epic have also latched on to Woody Harrelson’s nutty-but-right “apocalypse prognosticator”, DJ Charlie Frost.

Broadcasting from his tricked-out RV, Charlie does a rambling line in conspiracy theory and visions of the world ending.

How effective is it? It’s actually really fun, thanks to Harrelson’s total commitment to the role.

We particularly like his animation of how the world will meet its drastic end, and while we still can’t get too excited by yet another FX fest from Emmerich, Harrelson gets the word out in an entertaining fashion.[page-break]

District 9

What’s the idea? Humans and aliens can no longer peacefully co-exist on Earth and the two sides are already fracturing along species lines.

This is a video of a rally held by some human protestors, demanding that the slimy ETs leave the planet.

How effective is it? The campaign actually started last July at Comic Con, long before anyone knew what the film was. In case you’re wondering, It’s the first film from Peter Jackson’s protege Neill Blomkamp, rumoured to be based on his short film Alive In Joburg, which covered similar alien/human issues.

Trouble is, it’s still flying so low under the radar that we’re not sure the video really works unless you’re in on the gag. Which you are now, so that’s okay.[page-break]

Monsters Vs Aliens

What’s the idea? Another ranting conspiracy nut, this time Jeffrey Freedman, who demands answers on the most controversial subject of our time… Aliens and monsters, are they real?

His quest takes him to WorldCon, where he asks people about all sorts of crazy ideas, such as whether the government had anything to do with the death of author Robert Heinlein.

How effective is it? It’s very entertaining, at least, though if you saw it on its own, it might not clue you into the fact that it’s for the movie.

But the canny marketers have placed subtle references into the video – check out the book covers – so you’re left in no doubt. Approved![page-break]

James Preston Rogers is Thor!

Told you we had one weird exception…

What’s the idea? Despite Kenneth Branagh getting close to casting Thor , someone else wants on to the list.

That someone is sometime actor and stuntman James Preston Rogers, who goes so far as to dress up as Marvel’s Norse warrior to try to convince Branagh that he’s the man for the job.

How effective is it? Who are we to dash his hopes. We’re not convinced it’ll ever actually be seen by anyone casting the film, but give him points for trying.

And the video’s nicely self-deprecating, to boot.

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