I don't get out to the cinema as much as I once did, but when I do I'll have to see Cloverfield. I've been excited by its marketing since July last year when a colleague sent me the trailer. It didn't have a name then, but the mystery and intrigue got me going. Since that time I have visited the character Robbie Hawkins Myspace page and followed its instructions to visit http://www.1-18-08.com/ (named after the film's US launch date) - all of this skillfully planted as underground buzz in the press by their PR machine.
This campaign is a case study on how to use and orchestrate underground buzz. This was advertising as an experience, and as an event in itself. The advertising became part of the entertainment experience, and extended the boundaries of the film.
Check out the Alexa chart below for the two peaks around July 07 when the trailer was first virally seeded, and from Dec 07 when the PR and advertising machine was cranked up.
The other element of the campaign was to use the name of the director,JJ Abrams to add to the theatre. JJ Abrams directed the hit show, Lost, so the type of film Cloverfield was going to be was already partly seeded. Once the film name was decided the PR focused on promoting the film. This is shown in the chart below which shows number of blog mentions.
Convergence culture means that the advertising becomes part of the experience. This means you need a big idea, clever seeding, and a PR machine focused on turning your product into a great theatrical experience. Overall, this is a great example of the disappearing lines between mainstream media, and digital media, and how advertising must do more than just sell.