carrie telekinetic coffee shop prank viral marketingHow do you make a remake of a classic horror film fresh? How do you shock a jaded audience? You take the most frightening concepts of the film and make them happen in real life. The marketing team behind the remake of Carrie approached the viral marketing folks at Thinkmodo to help them scare the hell out of some New Yorkers just looking for a caffeine fix. Check out the viral marketing video by Thinkmodo as they bring telekinesis to life in a coffee shop in front of unsuspecting customers and see how they did it.

Thinkmodo has a track record for unique viral marketing campaigns, from zombies taking over NYC in protest of Dish Network dropping AMC, thereby cutting audiences off from The Walking Dead, to flying people over the Big Apple to promote the film Chronicle. What makes their viral marketing so impressive isn't just the number of hits on YouTube, or even the hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook, but rather the TV news coverage these viral videos get. That's free TV advertising, masquerading as news stories -- just like someone in the comments will certainly point out that this post could be considered free advertising instead of a legitimate NFS post.

Why Experiential Viral Marketing Should Matter to Filmmakers

So, let's make this post more than just a repost of viral video and talk about why this type of marketing should matter to filmmakers. The potential audience for any film is completely fragmented. The proliferation of handheld screens and the blurring of traditional release windows means audiences can choose to skip the theatre altogether because they know they can find content to watch right now on the device in their pocket or on the big screen TV at home (which is always in focus, I might add.)

Filmmakers need to think about not just the story they are trying to tell in their film, but how they plan to bring an audience to their film. Personally, I'm not seeking out trailers for Carrie, or even watching TV where ads for the film may appear. But I'm certainly intrigued when a friend posts a video on Facebook about a telekinetic coffee shop prank that looks eerily familiar. Traditional marketing methods for Carrie really aren't going to reach me, but this viral video will. And when it starts to appear on news broadcasts, you know the marketers for Carrie have certainly broadened their reach beyond traditional outlets.

But does it work? We'll have to wait and see if audiences flock to the theatres to see Carrie, and we may never know if they went to the movie, because of this viral prank. Thinkmodo will point to the number one box office opening for Chronicle and take credit for their work to get people to buy tickets.


More than anything, though, I think marketing tactics like the telekinetic coffee shop prank should make filmmakers think about how they are pushing their stories beyond the boundaries of their own films and into the world at large to generate that all-important word of mouth. Certainly, gimmicks like this viral video won't work for every project, but filmmakers -- especially DIY filmmakers without the support of large marketing budgets -- should flex their creative muscles to put their own unique spin on a marketing campaign to build their audiences and get them to see their movies. And remember, building the audience starts before the movie is even made.

What do you think of the Carrie telekinetic viral marketing video -- gimmick or genius? How do you think DIY filmmakers should use viral marketing or other tools to build awareness around their own projects? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

[via Instinct Magazine]