Another Semidi "Cloverfield" Item

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dear Constant Reader,

Cloverfield: The Down-side of Viral Marketing
Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Prior to the Cloverfield Project, my only experience with an online ARG was a casual fling with the Cloudmakers game for the movie A.I. (which was focused on a storyline set in the AI universe but which did not directly connect to a majority of the events in the film).

Given my lack of experience, I was completely unprepared for (and find myself increasingly annoyed by) the onslaught of posts by dozens of newcomers to the game breathlessly and urgently proclaiming the discovery of the “new” 1-18-08 trailer or the the “new” 1-18-08 website. In every case, the posts in question refer to the Cloverfield trailer being featured at iTunes or the website.

Of course the newbies assume that because something is new to them, it’s new to everyone.

Then we have those folks who add two and two together and get the sum of eleventy-three; they argue in tortured detail from their parents’ basements that the movie is going to be about Pokemon, or Digimon, or the Rampage video game.

As mentioned before, such arguments make Baby Jesus cry — between bouts of pointing and laughing.

As a result of these experiences, I have come to realize that the biggest enemy of such a marketing campaign is time. Why the folks at Paramount thought it would be a good idea to launch a viral marketing campaign for a movie due to hit the nation’s silver screens 6 months and 15 days from now is beyond me. I can’t conceive of how enough content could be generated and piece-mealed out over that stretch of time in such a way as to maintain, let alone grow, interest in that movie.

And all that time means that people who are bored and malicious, or those who have over-active imaginations, have more opportunities to muddy the water and increases the likelihood that the rest of are going to decide to stop swimming.

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R2K said...

: )

Montyfood said...

Ain't that true. Keep cutting thru the crap, Arthur. Great coverage.