The Future. Under Marc Weinstock, Paramount’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution, Scream VI killed at generating buzz, leading to a $44.5 million US debut (a franchise-best) and over $120 million at the global box office so far. The out-of-the-box marketing may reinforce that the best way to eventize a movie is to also eventize the marketing in an organic and surprising way.
Here are some of the stunts Paramount pulled to promote Scream VI:
- Custom calls from Ghostface to unsuspecting victims (read: potential audiences) — over two million people answered over the course of ten days.
- Sent Ghostface on a cross-country trek, where the masked killer would hang out “in areas Paramount knew had live cams that people regularly checked in on from home.” Yes, people called 911.
- Replace the wax figure Ghostface at the Grévin Museum with a person in the costume to scare people.
And when it came to more not-giving-people-a-heart-attack marketing, Paramount had a bit of fun by partnering with BJ Novak’s pop-up restaurant, Chain, to offer the “Stabby Meal.” It sold out in 12 seconds.
Subvert the tropes
Scream VI’s success is yet another great example that, for marketing to break through, it has to move past what Observatory (formerly CAA Marketing) founder Jae Goodman calls “interruptive advertising.” Instead, Paramount risked some extra cash and effort “for the chance that better marketing will give you better results.”
Or as Weinstock puts it: “When the marketing is fun, audiences think the movie is going to be fun and they want to go on the ride with you.” Bring on more good times at the movies.