Movie marketing campaigns can be some of the most exciting and entertaining around. But there are a lot of movies out there, and that means a lot of competition to stand out. To combat this, several movie marketers over the years have taken their efforts to the next level, delivering immersive, highly creative, and one-of-a-kind campaigns that have gone down in history as some of the very best ever made.

Here are 5 of our very favourites.

The Blair Witch Project

If you’ve ever looked at any list of definitive movie marketing campaigns, you’ve probably already come across this one. At the time of its release, back in 1999, it was quite extraordinary. And it revolutionised the medium of viral, faux-suthuenitc marketing.

The idea was simple enough: present the legend of the Blair Witch as if it were real. This included police photos, interviews with families, fake news coverage, all designed to create a sense of mystery and uncertainty around the film. They even went as far as creating a missing persons poster for the cast!


The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie took the notion of experiential marketing very literally. In their efforts to drum up excitement for the upcoming film (if that was ever necessary), they famously turned a group of 7-eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts.

Part of the reason why this was such a successful idea was due to the fact that most people already knew what a Kwik-E-Mart was. It wasn’t necessary to introduce a new concept into the public consciousness, only to reinforce something already established and beloved.


Paranormal Activity

Another “found footage” film similar in spirit to The Blair Witch Project. Paranormal Activity did something very unique and effective with its marketing campaign. Essentially, it let its audience do the talking.

The secret ingredient was night-vision fragments of cinema-goers screaming in terror as they watched the film. And not only did this technique expand the intrigue surrounding the movie, but it made it look very, very scary. In short, this was a pioneer of the “reaction video” genre.


The Dark Knight

Scavenger hunts, fake political campaigns, a real-life issue of the Gotham Times, phone numbers in the sky, Batman signals in New York and Boston. The Dark Knight really went all out to merge its marketing with the real world. The Los Angeles Times called it “One of the most interactive movie campaigns ever hatched by Hollywood”. And considering that it grossed over $1,000,000,000 worldwide, it seems like this hyperreal campaign was something of a success.


Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Sacha Baron Cohen utilised his relatively small level of stateside fame in the best way possible to promote his hit film, Borat. Appearing for interviews on late night talkshows and news programmes in character, Cohen gave a convincing enough performance to confuse many viewers into believing that Borat was in fact a real person. The result was a series of hilariously awkward interviews, a vast number of confused and bewildered hosts, and, in the end, a fantastically successful campaign.

To this day, Borat remains one of the most brilliantly conceived and performed mockumentary films ever made. And its marketing campaign was just as good.

For more on great marketing campaigns, take a look at 4 Ad Campaigns That Made The Most Of A Bad Situation and Best Ads To Cheer You Up On A Rainy Day.