Talk about spooky creative. The marketers behind the new Carrie remake film released a viral video experiment to test and capture the reactions of unsuspecting customers at a New Your City coffee shop as they witness a telekinetic event.
Entitled “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”, the video first shows us how the prank was set up. They created a fake wall, attached a harness to a stuntman so that it appears that he is lifted up the wall. The team also put some remote-controlled tables and chairs in place, and spring-loaded pictures and books so that they’ll look as if they’re flying off the walls and shelves. Finally, a bunch of actors took their place and pretended to be coffee shop customers.
And then the fun begins.
The stunt man knocks over a cup of coffee and the girl goes batshit and starts using her “telekinetic powers” to lift the man up the wall, move the tables and chairs, and make stuff fly off the shelves.
Needless to say, customers in the coffee shop were freaked out of their wits, while viewers watching from home were thoroughly entertained.
Two words: Viral hit. The #FlexLikeCarrie video spread like wildfire. It was posted on YouTube on Monday and got millions of views overnight. At the time of writing this, Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise has already reached more than 26 million views.
And the buzz is incredible. Carrie advertisers did a great job with using hasthags. They promoted the #FlexLikeCarrie hashtag at the end of the video and the Twitterverse just couldn’t stop talking about it. Fans couldn’t wait til the movie hits theaters on the 18th.
Similarly, the advertising prank was (and still is) wildly covered in the media, having been discussed in various blogs as well as major publications and networks such as the Los Angeles Times, CBS, New York Daily News, and more.
What You Can Learn
As far as generating online buzz goes, the advertisers and marketers in charge of Carrie most definitely got it right. They produced an awesome video that while promotional, was extremely entertaining and sharable.
Here are a few things that we can learn from this great online advertising campaign:
Go beyond traditional advertising and marketing tactics
Movie trailers? Billboards? Those tactics were so ten years ago. While the film did take advantage of traditional marketing methods such as the ones mentioned above, it went beyond that and effectively made use of online video. And take note, they used online video not for straight advertising purposes. They used video to distribute genuinely entertaining content.
Use cross-channel advertising
The advertisers behind Carrie didn’t just post a video on YouTube and went on their way. Instead, they took the time to distribute it via multiple channels. And by using the #FlexLikeCarrie hashtag, they were able make it easy for users to spread the word as well, thus generating more buzz in the process.
Put in the necessary resources
It was clear that the video was really well-made. The crew took the time to hire the right people and set up the proper equipment to make the prank work. Your campaigns should be the same way. We’re not saying that you should spend tons of money on stuntmen or equipment, but do spend ample time cooking up your campaigns. Budget or no budget, don’t submit anything that isn’t well-executed. There are plenty of ways to create wonderful advertising campaigns, and they don’t always involve a ton of money. What you do need is a lot of creativity.