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Sarah's Cinema Musings: Creative Film Marketing

July 28th, 2009 9:48am EDT
District 9Film studios have a long history of using alternative, memorable and sometimes guerrilla marketing to promote their films. One of the most famous examples is Alfred Hitchcock's now iconic film, Psycho. The Blair Witch Project also made waves, and Cloverfield's viral campaign took marketing to a new level, paving the way for more questionable advertising. The bomb scare generated from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Dark Knight campaigns made filmgoers wonder where the line is in marketing. Is there a line? Should there be one limiting actions?

Check out two new campaigns for Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods and Peter Jackson's District 9:

Cabin in the Woods


Whedon is taking a decidedly post modern approach in what one could only assume to be the Scream for this upcoming generation. The conventions of the horror genre are now known to most. If you have sex, you die. The only one who survives is the Final Girl. There are countless sound cues theatergoers bank on; the creaking door, a floorboard, etc. By addressing these conventions ironically in the teaser posters, Joss has certainly addressed a specific demographic. More importantly, it also makes viewers outside the target market quite curious- a slam-dunk for producers.



District 9


For avid online video scavengers, this film comes as no surprise. Born from a short film, 'Alive in Joburg' by Neill Bomkamp, this film is as relevant to Americans as V for Vendetta was for Brits. The theme and main message of the film strikes an exposed nerve in a post-911 America. What makes this cultural lesson scarily enjoyable begins with the advertising. It pops up everywhere. You can see it in bathrooms, on highway billboards, benches, and bus stops. Sounds familiar? Yes and no. It is the content that breaks it from the typical film campaigns. Take a look at the photo here - it takes place within our reality - beyond the scope of the film. Drawing the audience into the film, placing them within the narrative, is difficult for filmmakers and nearly impossible outside of the actual film.



Have you seen these campaigns? Do you have a favorite advertising campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Sarah Lafferty
Story by Sarah Lafferty
Starpulse contributing writer

Follow Sarah on twitter at starbuckscout.