January 18, 2008

"Three incredibly simple marketing tactics you can learn from the movie Cloverfield."

I've got my tickets. I have seen ever trailer, every preview clip, and every "leaked" photo there is to see. I even convinced my long-time girlfriend to go with me. That's right, tonight I will be sitting on a cheap plastic chair, eating cheap popcorn (that is about as plastic as the chairs) and watching the monster from Cloverfield rip apart New York City like the millions of monsters before it.

If you haven't heard of Cloverfield yet - or of it's "code name": 1-18-08 - then you surely are missing out on a revolutionary marketing campaign for what, one would hope, is a masterpiece monster movie.

Take a minute to do a quick search for "Cloverfield" on Google, and then come back here and finish reading the article.

But if you have heard of Cloverfield, read on right now. Because, despite the fact that I'm a huge fan and you may not be - here are three incredibly simple marketing tactics you can learn from the movie Cloverfield.

Don't give away the whole show, until people pay for it.

The very first trailer that ever appeared for the movie Cloverfield showed a few kids in an apartment complex, followed by flickering lights, lots of screaming, and the head of the Statue of Liberty flying through the city streets of New York. What the trailer didn't show, however, was the name of the movie... or what it was really going to be about... or anything at all, really.

And that drove people - including myself - insane.

People literally jumped onto Google.com and searched for "1-18-08" in a desperate attempt to find ANYTHING on the movie. If they did find anything through their online search, it was a few random images, the trailer leaked onto YouTube, or some other obscure bit of information.

The first trailer, was a huge marketing success, and a great example of what internet marketers can do to drive their audience insane (in a good way) too.

Instead of giving away all of your web products or information, give out little tidbits - and make them look as interesting as possible - and people will slowly, but surely, do their best to find out more.

Before you know it thing will spread and your marketing campaign will explode with the force of a man-eating monster stomping through the remains of New York. ...or something.

Give out just enough information to peek people's interest, and nothing more until they pay - whether by subscribing to your feed, purchasing your service, or buying tickets for your movie.

Use reputations to build interest.

If you don't know who J.J. Abrams is then you probably have never seen the hit television show "Lost". Not only was J.J.'s name one of the tidbits of information that was shown during the first trailer, it is also plastered on everything related to his new movie Cloverfield.

And for good reason too; J.J. has created a fan base for himself based on the type of mysterious, mind-bending work he has done. And he knows that, because of what he has done in the past, he can use his name to get attention for his latest movie.

Even if a movie popped up and was titled "Barbie Goes to Vegas: A Documentary of Plastic in Las Vegas" and then showed the name "J.J. Abrams", millions of people would flock to the theater.

And you can do the same for your marketing campaign as well. If you're working for a big company or have done some recognizable work in the past, put the name on your latest campaign and people will become thoroughly interested... simply because of the name on the project.

If you're going to make it big, make it REALLY big.

While the marketing campaign was cleverly put together to peek interest of anyone who stumbled across it, and while it was slapped with a popular name, the real mojo comes from the actual campaign it's self; in this scenario: the movie.

And what a movie it is turning out to be - even the critics agree that it's a "must see" movie (just don't expect to go away thinking that it was life changing). The reason? It's about a giant monster, that we get to experience from a realistic, personal perspective.

J.J. Abrams knows that there have been hundreds of thousands of monster movies (don't get me started on Boa vs Python) in the past, but what none of them have managed to do was become realistic, frightening, and personal. So he made the movie big... REALLY big.

The director knew that people would be interested in his new perspective of a monster film and so he flaunted it in every aspect of the marketing.

Web marketing campaigns should be no different.

If you've got something new, revolutionary, and big, don't mess around with the little details. Market it as being MASSIVE - even if you're not planning on making it that big.

When people are told that this movie is going to be BIG and that the monster is going to be HUGE and that the ideas of the movie are MASSIVE, they are going to believe it.

Do the same thing for your online marketing campaign and you will quickly find that people will believe you, merely for the fact that you've made it seem so big.

And that's that. Whether the marketing campaign shows a snippet of what it's really about, it's branded with a memorable name, or it's made to look HUGE, these strategies will definitely help you and your next online campaign.

After I watch Cloverfield at the theater tonight I will be out of town for the rest of the weekend, so no new updates this Saturday and Sunday.

But you still should consider subscribing to Internet Hunger and getting awesome posts like this one almost daily.