Here at Thunderbolt Digital our marketing team are always wearing their finest thinking caps; coming up with effective social media marketing campaigns for our clients. Sometimes marketing teams have given a bigger impact to their messages by having a sudden surprise reveal of what their product actually is. This is a common tactic for film marketing and we’ve previously looked at the creative campaigns seen recently in the world of film. This week at SXSW Festival in Texas, news has emerged of the film Ex Machina (pictured above) controversially using Tinder to spread word of its US release, and this had us thinking about other cases of chat platforms being used in marketing.

The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism used Chatroulette to effectively drive traffic to the main website of the film, after shocking users with a scare prank. Instead of chatting (or otherwise) with someone over the internet, users witnessed a girl transform into a monster before lunging at the camera. The URL for the website then flashed on screen – leaving the curiosity of startled users to do the rest.


Another case of a horror film utilising innovative social media marketing, Ouija was in fact the first marketing campaign to appear on Snapchat. A condensed version of the trailer appeared on the social media platform, and managed to squeeze in basic details of the plot along with a quick jump scare. The trailer was watched by millions in the twenty four hours that it was in the “recent updates” section of the platform.

Ex Machina

And finally, the most recent undercover marketing campaign as discussed earlier is Ex Machina. The marketing team for the film took a new approach to viral marketing – by giving it a local focus and targeting attendees at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Tinder users who were in the city for the festival found themselves chatting with an innocent, curious young lady who asked questions about their experiences of love and what made them human. Automated responses told the user that they had passed the test, before sharing a link for them to follow which led to an Instagram account explaining the situation. The campaign has received a mixed response from marketing critics as well as those who were tricked by the fake profile. While the ethics may be questionable, the creativity of this social media marketing campaign is remarkable.


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