Paranormal Advertising

The new excitement in the movie world that is creating a buzz is the movie Paranormal Activity. It is an independent-type horror film and it seems to be following a track similar to what the Blair Witch Project did many years ago. They are both independently made in a documentary style with low budgets and are supposed to scare your pants off. There is a difference though in the advertising style. The Blair Witch Project slowly gained steam by word of mouth and eventually made it into national release for the public to finally see. Paranormal Activity has been able to use all the new outlets and power of the Internet to generate the buzz a bit more quickly. While a test screening was shown and the footage of the audience reactions were used in the trailer, the creators also started making the rounds on the radio to tell everyone that they most likely can’t see it in their home town since it will only be in 10 theaters nationwide. What could make people want something more than to tell them they can’t have it? Cartman did it with his theme park in South Park and it worked.

Luckily for the general public, a website was given out in these radio interviews where the public could go and demand to have it shown in their city. Granted only major cities seemed to be on the list for people to demand it to be screened at, but the buzz is probably enough to get people to drive that extra bit to see it. The website programming is careful to only let you get one demand in per computer and one per email address, so you’d have to go to a different computer and use a different email address every time to try to sway the results. So in order to spread the word and get more votes the website also had links to add a link or widget to all the major social networking sites so you could tell your friends to demand the movie too. I’d say that’s a fairly innovative advertising method that wasn’t even possible years ago. Even I put a link on facebook, which I hate doing, because if this movie does actually happen to be scary, I must see it.

Good news for all who may also be excited for this movie now. I got an email yesterday saying that it is going to be released in 20 more cities due to the sell-out crowds in current showings and the clear online demand for it. Philadelphia happens to be one of those cities. Now obviously I’ll have to go see it since I helped to vote it in. I already fear that it will be over-hyped though, since I haven’t seen anything that has really scared me in quite a while. I just want to be scared.