‘Cloverfield’ fans are Paramount’s slave-labor marketing bitches

Via Flickfilosopher, a critics take on the Cloverfield marketing.

Cloverfield is back. Remember the trailer for an unnamed movie everyone was so excited about a few months back, the one before Transformers about a mysterious monster attacking New York and knocking the head off the Statue of Liberty? There’s a second trailer now: it debuted before Beowulf over the Thanksgiving weekend and immediately afterward started showing up on YouTube in an impossible-to-watch cell-phone-cam version.

I watched it anyway, and found myself getting a little cheesed off. Not about the movie itself, but about how Paramount is marketing this. I can’t go into a press screening without having my bag rifled and my body wanded in search of cameras and other recording devices -- when I upgraded my cell phone recently, I made a point of getting one without a camera in it so I wouldn’t have to check it with the minimum-wage “security” guards who regularly harass we critics and our guests at screenings. It’s not like those pristine DVDs and downloads of new movies are coming from critics sneaking their cameraphones into press screenings, but we get subjected to this anyway.

But Cloverfield makes it clear, I think, that Paramount wanted geeks to camcord that new trailer, wanted it to end up on YouTube. Perhaps no one in Paramount’s marketing department realized that the first teaser trailer would be such a viral hit on the Web this summer, but they had to know the second one would be. This is the first movie for which “piracy” is a planned part of the marketing.

You can now watch that new trailer (as well as the teaser) in crisp, clear, “official” versions at Apple.com, and it’s even more obvious that it was not primarily intended to be seen in theaters but in a format you can freeze and rewind and rewatch. Lots of intriguing stuff slips by a mere frames. And, of course, you don’t have to bother with analyzing it yourself: All the Cloverfield nerds have done it for you. At CloverfieldNews.com, there’s an ongoing discussion about what each and every shadowy image and garbled sound might be. The sprawling Cloverfield fan community has even ferreted out a connection between the movie and Heroes.

Some folks, like my fellow Film.com contributor Eric D. Snider, are tired of all the coyness on the part of Cloverfield producer JJ Abrams and all the literal gameplaying required to figure out what the damn movie is about. I figure the gameplaying isn’t meant for us grownups but for kids with tons of time on their hands. Who else could be able to post something like this: “For the last few weeks, we have been devoting all of our time to the myspace accounts of the characters.” Seriously? All your time? To a movie that hasn’t even opened yet, and might turn out to suck. (That site, Cloverfield Project, hasn’t been updated since August, so perhaps someone got a life.)

I wonder if all these folks realize that they’ve become unpaid marketing managers for a multibillion-dollar corporation. (source)


CameronJr9 said...

Hey Dave and Thomas. I saw this article yesterday and as a blogger myself, I thought the same thing as you guys.

"I wonder if all these folks realize that they’ve become unpaid marketing managers for a multibillion-dollar corporation."

And then I realized, I'm one of "these folks." So are you all. Welcome to Web 2.0.

Anonymous said...

on that note... How many people have mentioned that all the "drill sites" on the Tagruato page are Japanese Emperors? Probly just some naming thing cuz they had nothing else.

Todd said...

Come on man just get used to the fact that it's a new way of advertising that no-ones tried before. It's different, it's ceird, and it's got me hooked like no other film has before.

Drawer2000 said...

I agree Todd.

CameronJr9 said...

I certainly agree. I'm hooked, and we're definitely advertising for this movie. I even admitted it back in July.


Drawer2000 said...

If it's a good movie it's worth it...the involvement makes it more exciting.

However,...if it turns out to be a crappy movie it will be harder to get people (like us) to join in on future projects.

Click on the "OLDER POSTS" above to start up the Cloverfield archives and see how it all began.

What is Cloverfield?

Welcome to 1-18-08 Project Cloverfield Blog.

Cloverfield is the J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) produced monster flick directed by Matt Reeves. Get caught up on all the Cloverfield news including the viral world of Tagruato, TIDOwave, and Slusho!? And now Aladygma?

However, I love viral campaigns. Cloverfield taught me the fun of being involved with the viral world of movies and TV. That's why I'd like to branch out this site to cover some of the major viral campaigns as they are developing. Feel free to drop me a line or tip on any you find interesting.

Welcome to Cloverfield

Very few facts emerged from the viral campaign that was Cloverfield. It all started after a short, teaser trailer for Cloverfield appeared with the Transformers movie in early July of 2007. Since then, speculation surrounded what the title of the movie would be (Monstrous, Overnight, etc...) and what the monster really is and why it is tearing up New York City.

A few pictures and covert videos from the film showed up online and there were only a few core facts we knew of including the poster, the teaser trailer, and a few websites at 1-18-08, Tagruato Corp, and Slusho .

In November, the official full-length Cloverfield trailer was released that helped open up the story as well as cement the "Cloverfield" name for the movie. A short glimpse of the Cloverfield Monster was seen but for most people they still had little or no clue as to what it was.

The movie centered around five young New Yorkers throwing their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives. Cloverfield opened the weekend of 1-18-08 and set box office records for a movie in January with a monster take of over $40M. Continue to check back here for updates on the mystery and viral campaigns of Cloverfield.

Contact Me

Dave and Thomas

Contact me

Get Started with the Cloverfield Viral Marketing

If you're new to the Cloverfield viral world than let's get started. First off, for the beginners let's look at what we're talking about.

What does viral marketing mean? Click here.

1-18-08.com Updates with pictures randomly. Each picture is layered onto of the previous update and all can be dragged and moved around the screen. Click and hold the mouse to 'grab' an image and move it around. While holding the image, shake it back and forth quickly and it will flip over. Some images have writing on the back.

Slusho This is the Japanese frozen drink made from a secret ingredient gathered from the bottom of the ocean. Slusho gives you a kick and makes you extremely happy. Prior to 1-18-08 Slusho was not sold in the US. However, recent FDA approval gave Slusho clearance to come to the states. Rob Hawkins, the lead character, was recently promoted to vice-president of Slusho and was on his way to Japan the night of the attack. Slusho is owned by the Tagruato Corp. of Japan. Slusho also first made an appearance on J.J. Abrams Alias during a scene where characters buy the drink at a store.

Tagruato This ficticious Japanese company is the parent company of Slusho as well as the Yoshida Medical Research, Bold Futura, and ParafFUN! Wax Distributors. Besides drilling the oceans for Slusho ingredients, Tagruato builds everything from space satellites to medical gear.

T.I.D.O wave An activist group set out to bring to light all the damage Tagruato has done to the envirnoment.

Jamie and Teddy A minor character from the movie, Jamie popped up on a 1-18-08.com picture and the MySpace profiles for the movies characters before getting famous for her "Jamie and Teddy" website. The site is comprised of video journals from Jamie. The site is password protected but can be accessed by the password "jllovesth"

What Is Slusho?

Slusho ! You Can't Drink 6

Cloverfield Poster

Poster Official Cloverfield Poster. The poster was officially released the week of the 2007 Comic-con in San Diego.

Project Cloverfield 1-18-08

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