For Steven Spielberg’s and J.J. Abrams’s much anticipated sci-fi thriller, Super 8, Paramount Pictures was challenged with a modest marketing budget in a summer full of huge blockbusters. Their goal: quickly increase awareness and ramp-up box office results for opening weekend.
Paramount generated buzz by debuting the first Super 8 trailer on Twitter. It carried that momentum over to opening weekend by using a Promoted Trend with the hashtag #Super8Secret to broadcast a surprise screening of the sci-fi thriller in 300 plus theaters a day before its official release. Paramount hoped that the most ardent fans who previewed the movie would spread the word into the weekend and help drive their friends to the theater. On the day of Super 8’s release, Paramount used another Promoted Trend, #Super8Movie to further amplify and maintain the buzz amongst moviegoers.
“Twitter has the incredible capability of spreading buzz in real-time as well as fostering conversations that capture large audiences in a matter of seconds,” explains Amy Powell, EVP of Marketing Strategies & Film Production at Paramount Pictures. “We believe these elements are key in promoting a movie like Super 8.”
The #Super8Secret Promoted Trend created a tremendous spike in conversations: Tweets of the hashtag reached nearly nine million impressions in less than 24 hours and mentions of the movie skyrocketed to more than 150 per minute. Receipts for the sneak preview exceeded $1 million, and Paramount said weekend box office surpassed expectations by 52%.