Most effective movie ad campaign

What, in your opinion is the greatest teaser ever dreamed up to prmote a movie?

It could be a trailer, a TV slot, webpage, slogan, etc. The sort of thing that leaves you salivating to see the movie, counting the days and hours until release.

Here’s my candidate.

A dark, foggy evening. A car slowly draws to a halt outside a house shrouded in fog. A tall figure emerges, a bag in his hand. He walks slowly towards the gate, then pauses to look up at a particular curtained window.

The Exorcist, of course, and I remember that this trailer and the accompanying hype, full blast on all the talk shows, and demons working overtime to possess enough people to satisfy the insatiable tabloids, had me practically summoning up Old Scratch myself in order to get a sneak preview of the film.

Two other great campaigns.

Psycho - “No one will be admitted to the theater during the last 20 minutes of this show”.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind - a highway, with something just out of sight over the rise ahead, something shedding an intense white light.

The Exorcist still takes it for me though.

Garbo Talks (Anna Christie)


Garbo Laughs (Ninotchka)

both did very well.

Think what you will of the movie, but Indepence Day managed to get massive opening day box office numbers from an ad campaign that didn’t mention any stars or director, but purely through the power of large explosions.

The Blair Witch Project. Probably one of the most effective ad campaigns yet, with the lion’s share of the buzz traveling quickly over the internet. And, later, the Sc-Fi channel got involved by airing a fake documentary about the film. By the time all was said and done, the film, costing less than $25K, eventually made… er, according to IMDB, $240 million.

I gotta get into film.

Snakes on a Plane The movie’s not even released yet, but everyone knows about it.

IIRC, The Usual Suspects generated good buzz with their “Who is Kaiser Sose?” pre-release campaign. I don’t know if it was “Most. Effective. Ever!” but as I recall it was pretty good.

The ad campaign for the Godzilla (in name only) movie was pretty effective, starting a whole year before the film’s release and generating a lot of interest with oblique references to the monster’s enormous size, sometimes in comparison to a T-Rex… Pity the movie itself turned out to be so awful.

Location: Space

Scene: Debris field

Camera pans through the field until certain shapes become recogniseable, a window that looks a LOT like a tie Fighter.

Sound comes up with the well known respirator noise if Darth Vader ™

Camera moves into a larger piece of debris, starting at the back of a throne, which rotates to reveal:

Dr. Evil

Dr. Evil: “You were expecting someone else?”

Voiceover: If you see one movie this summer, see Star Wars, but if you see two, see Austin Powers in: The Spy who shagged me!

I liked the “Charades” trailer for Monsters, Inc., which played before showings of Harry Potter.
Monsters, Inc.

Now showing at a theatre near you.

Really near you.

Like, maybe, right next door.

I loved that! I saw Harry Potter on opening night, the theater was packed, and that got a roar of laughter from the audience.

I got excited over the Lord of the Rings one, which just showed a dim cave, Gollum whipping his head around, and “My preciousssssss.”

I’m getting hot and bothered over the new Pirates trailer…“Yo ho…yo ho…a pirate’s life for me.”

I cannot WAIT until July 7.