Promotional Pranking

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Posted At: October 23, 2013 2:48 p.m.
by Courtney Cox

Halloween is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the costumes, parties, haunted houses, hayrides and the fact that I get to eat as much candy as I want and not feel bad about it. But the best part of Halloween is the scary movies.

I don’t know about you, but I love a good horror movie – one that gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me jump 10 feet out of my seat with every loud noise and sudden movement. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time around Halloween each year researching upcoming horror movie releases and watching trailers online.

Last week, as I was watching trailers for the remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” I came across this video:

So, who was behind this hilarious Halloween prank?

This publicity stunt was the work of Thinkmodo, a marketing agency located in New York City. Unlike the average marketing agency, Thinkmodo “mashes-up viral fun with marketing function to create effective viral video campaigns for brands.” The agency specializes in creating these types of viral prank videos, which basically earn free media coverage for clients.

With the horror film industry’s popularity and number of new releases each year, movie promotions have to stand out among the rest in order to capture the attention of audience members. Thinkmodo’s coffee shop prank did just that.

The viral video promotion for “Carrie” now has more than 42 million views on YouTube after being online just a little over two weeks. Its instant fame and popularity on social media has earned media coverage from Fox News, People Magazine, Huffington Post, Adweek and Forbes…just to name a few.

Thinkmodo used a similar idea when promoting “The Last Exorcism Part II,” which was released earlier this year. The video showed footage of customers’ reactions as the image of a possessed girl (similar to the girl in the movie) appeared in a beauty shop mirror. At the end of the video, the possessed girl came out from behind the mirror, which sent the customers running to the nearest exit.

[Warning: Video contains mature language; viewer discretion is advised.]

By showing how people react to real-life enactments of these horror films, moviegoers are given a taste of what they can expect from the movie. This unconventional and entertaining form of marketing has the potential to garner massive amounts of widespread publicity for clients, and for Thinkmodo as well.

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