How to Promote a Movie with a Prank


It’s almost Halloween. So let’s take a day off from the normal things we do here and have some fun as well as taking a look at what can happen when you use a video to promote a film.

In case you haven’t seen this, it’s a hoot.  The elaborate prank is to promote a movie remake of  ‘Carrie’, which is based on the Steven King novel of the same name.

Watch it and then imagine yourself in a coffee shop while this happens inside.  The looks on some of the customers faces are classic.  My favorite part is in the middle with the tables.  That’s where I probably would have headed out the door. 

This video generated a lot of buzz about the movie.  Released 10 days before the movie premier, it went viral almost immediately.  The buzz has worn off now, but it was viewed a lot during the week following its release.  This prank shows you how much relatively inexpensive exposure a product can get.  How much do you think reaching 44 million people would cost in traditional media?  Some impressive stats include:

  • Total views on YouTube 44,281,950 views
  • 1,979,126 shares all time including
  • 1,887,583 Facebook shares
  • 91,277 Twitter shares
  • 266 blog posts (now 267)
  • and 35,340 comments

I am sure it helped sell some tickets to the show… Ya’ Think?  The reviews of the movie are mixed. three stars from Roger Ebert’s site, an overall favorable review from MTV, and 2-1/2 skulls from Fangoria, a horror movie review site.  The thing the critics agree on is that the movie is aimed at a younger, ‘more hip’ audience.  Whatever you think of the movie, there’s no doubt the movie got a lift from the Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise.

The take away:  What ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas you might use to promote your product or service.

  • Statistics from Viral Video Chart (accessed 10/23/2013) They have other information to look at over there. Check ’em out.  There’s also a list of videos that are viral right now.



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