Friday, July 10, 2009

The new level of effort behind buzz

In the last 20 hours, I've come across two campaigns that really impressed me. Not so much because of the creativity behind the idea, but the effort and money put into non-traditional ways of building Word-of-Mouth currency for their product. Really got me thinking about the value of WOM, and what tools are worth the effort to produce. Or rather what tools and strategies haven't even been thought of yet. That's exciting to me.

1) District-9: Sony Pictures created an 800 number, and multiple "fake" websites based on the premise of this forthcoming movie. I was pulled in when I watched the trailer on the YouTube's homepage. It's not there anymore, but you can see it here. I hope you have 45 minutes because this is gonna be fun.

Watch the Trailer. Then, call Call MNU to report non-humans at 866-666-6001.

Visit the URL you're led to on the phone call. That's how I was led down this path.

If you can't find a phone, you can open a new tab / window in your browser and google "Multi-National United" or "MNU"


If you haven't already, visit check out the blog postings from the beginning.

There are tons of random videos, blog postings, comments on each blog posting, maps, and all kinds of content on the MNU website that was built just for the movie. There are MNU and "Christopher" twitter accounts, facebook pages, anti-MNU human rights protest videos on YouTube, etc. It goes on and on.

There's no such thing as MNU. No such thing as Disctrict 9. But Sony Pictures has raised this campaign to a new level of pseudo-reality, putting the time and money into creating all this "fake" content, adding a little more reality to the movie hype. I'm looking forward to seeing it in theaters. Leave it up to Peter Jackson to do things bigger than ever before.

[On a side note, I wonder if the movie is supposed to be blatantly symbolic of South Africa's former apartheid government. The film takes place there.]

2) Shark Week! Who doesn't love shark week? Even some of the most girly girls I know look forward to it. Aside from the Discovery Channel promoting Shark Week to TV viewers and consumers, it's normal for them to get journalists excited about it in a separate PR press kit campaign. This year's promotional effort to reporters is awesome. They are sending reporters...well, I'll just let you read about first hand accounts here....or here.

How would you like to get a newspaper clipping of your own well-research obituary in the mail? Along with the battered pair of the shark chewed swim trunks you died in.

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