The Blair Witch Project used the internet to build its mythology and cast enough doubt that the film was only a film that to this day there are still people who see it and believe it’s real.
But when the clever, inspired, and involving viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight got massive amounts of deserved attention, lots of other projects tried to jump on the bandwagon with half-hearted attempts to bottle that lightning all over again.
Paramount has taken another path to promote its upcoming Star Trek movie to be released on May 7 (moved up from its previous date of May 8) — they’re doing it the old-fashioned way and focusing on the fans.
And I’m not talking about people sitting behind their computers.
I’m talking about real people.
On April 7, Paramount organized a viewing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at the Alamo Drafhouse theater in Austin, Texas.
Or so they said.
Paramount built a special “stunt reel” of the movie that was designed to self-destruct several minutes in.
The movie died on cue.
The audience got really restless, really quickly.
But then a man appeared in front of the crowd.
And it was Mr. Spock himself.
And he introduced the brand new movie to the crowd of fans, who got to see it even before the folks at the official world premiere in Australia the following night.
You can read all about it here.
Can you imagine being in that crowd? Can you imagine the energy and the excitement?
Reviews from the premiere have been overwhelmingly positive.
But Paramount wasn’t finished.
Last week the cast traveled to the Middle East to watch the movie with some of the American sons and daughters who are serving there so bravely.
That is infinitely awesome.
And you can read about it here.
I love this. Because again, it’s not about gimmicks or tricks. It’s about people. Well done, Paramount. And you can bet I’ll be there on May 7 with my nachos and a Pepsi as big as the Enterprise.