The purpose of viral marketing is to create a public interest and create hype among audiences. It uses social networking sites, teaser posters and trailers, the internet, word of mouth and media advertising to create this hype.
A short teaser trailer was realised long before the film, the trailer did not contain the name of the film just the day of release. (the name given on the trailer was 1.18.08)People became interested in the 1 ½ minute trailer as it involved New York, the most famous city in the world and it also contained the use of video cameras (The Blair Witch Project). The success of the trailer led producers to then set out clues for the audience allowing them to discover more about the film.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqQzvfn_s30
Many people began talking about the film on blogs and social networking sites etc, this generated a ‘word-of- mouth’. The people involved in the marketing of the film would leave clues for the audiences leading them to find out more about the film online, webstites http://cloverfieldclues.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://1-18- 08.blogspot.co.uk/ were made by fans who shared these clues. Also as audiences saw the teaser trailers in cinema’s more people began discussing it and an interest grew.
Much of the campaign was online based, for example the producers of the film began creating confusion by setting up fake websites when audience tried to Google the film 1.18.08, they would be led to fake sites such as Slusho and Untitled J.J Abrams Project. YouTube was also used to show the teaser trailer. The website www.1.18.08.com helped to further create the conspiracy around the film, later on a proper film website was produced.
The poster much like the trailer did not give much away, however, it was shocking. It contained a picture of a destroyed New York in the background, and a picture in the foreground of The Statue Of Liberties head blown off. The name of the film was not shown, just the date.