Prometheus: The Viral Marketing Phenomenon

Discover how viral marketing, character teasers, and immersive experiences transformed the landscape for movie promotion.
Created by
April 30, 2018


History will remember this year. At the least the movie buffs will. The biggest movies, the biggest stars, from hammer wielding superheroes to a re-imagined dark snow white, from smooth talking, martini sipping James Bond to the unassuming hairy feet hobbits, all are invited to the party. Some are spawned (Avengers), some are re-spawned (The Amazing Spiderman), some are awaiting their swan song (The Dark Knight Rises), some are coming  back for an encore (Titanic 3D), while some old legends are getting some new twists (The Hobbit and Prometheus).

The Avengers has already raised the bar to unprecedented levels. They had the biggest opening weekend ever with a 200 million collection in the US alone, then it became the fastest movie to cross one billion in revenues. But the competition is equally strong. The Dark Knight rises is arguably the most anticipated movie of the year, Peter Jackson's fantasy epic "The Hobbit" has had fans salivating from the moment it was announced.  With fans loyalties stretched to the limit, and the neutrals sitting firmly on the fence. It is very easy to get lost in the noise. The only way to stand out is to be different because its a level playing field, big stars, big studios, big directors, so difficult to pick one from another.

This is where the Marketing comes into the picture. We have already covered the marketing tricks employed by The Dark Knight Rises. But what about Prometheus then? Prometheus marks the return of Academy Award winning director Ridley Scott to the sci-fi genre, his earlier contributions being Alien and Blade Runner. Both genre defining movies, with Alien being one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Prometheus is derived from the same Alien universe, but not strictly a prequel. With a stellar star cast like Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce all big names in their own right.

You would figure that 20th Century Fox would sit pretty on such big names and who would blame them. But gladly they are not, the marketing team of Prometheus has up the ante as the release date draws near.

  • It all started 3 years ago, when the rumors started that Ridley Scott was planning on an Alien prequel, this news was vehemently denied later by all parties. But then the news came in that it is derived from the same universe but its not a prequel. So the cat and mouse game began there, and till now everybody is still guessing what is the movie all about. It is a big achievement for the marketing team that they have kept the information leaks in check, yet are able to keep the fans engaged.
  • The first teaser trailer is all about the spectacular. Without revealing too much about the plot, yet carrying enough intrigue and mystery. It is a delicate balance but they were able to pull it off.
  • Viral Marketing: This is where things get very interesting. The video showcases a TED 2023 talk from the future, where the CEO of the fictitious Weyland Corporation talks about his ambitions and vision for the future. In the next video, they show an advertisement about the android "David 8" which is half human, half robot. This is truly a masterstroke. Without getting into the plot details, the characters are already shaping up. The ambitious and unrelenting CEO, who will go to any length to accomplish his mission. The eerie and bone chilling yet friendly Android, whose side he will be on is anybody's guess. The audience is already invested in the characters even before the movie starts.
  • I know there is only one masterstroke, but we can make it two this time. The marketing team turned an abandoned tube station in Paris, into a scary Prometheus ride. The giant head seen in the trailers is there, which is intimidating to say the least, the blue ambiance enhances the scare quotient. If you are riding in the tube and you cross such a set-up, it is bound to leave an impression.

Truly ground breaking !"My name is Peter Weyland, and if you will indulge me, I would like to change the world"Kudos to the marketing team. They surely changed the world for Prometheus.

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