Movie marketing is always fun to watch, because in the midst of all the formulaic voice-overs in the same baritone predicting a hero or heroine finding "the one thing they never expected" … there is also a furious desire/necessity to do something different to connect with audiences and increase intrigue enough to get "bums in seats" at the theaters – or in this case, to purchase a DVD. The newest viral campaign launched out of the UK for the recent DVD release of The Ring 2 is one of the best branded viral campaigns I’ve seen out there. The campaign is described below by Dave Smith, director of the campaign from New Media Maze:
We have created the viral [campaign] upon key themes in the movie – if you watch the tape, your phone rings and you are told that you only have 7 days left to live. We’ve essentially recreated that experience online and the effect.
The site (www.7daysleft.com) allows individuals to enter a friend’s email address and mobile phone number, and once the friend initiates a viewing of the online teaser, at the appropriate time an automated phone call is placed to their mobile phone where a voice whispers "seven days." Creepy. As with most great mobile phone based campaigns, it’s not targeted or available to audiences in the US (probably due to the adolescent mobile phone service available in this country compared to Europe or Asia Pacific). Still, the campaign is a great connection to the end product. After all, if the marketing can be this scary … just imagine how scary the movie must be.