Remember the Blair Witch Project? With its campaign for The Last Exorcism, Lionsgate Films has taken the amateur video horror film idea to the next level, proving that there’s a way to use Chatroulette as more than just a medium where you can see strangers get naked and watch Ben Fold’s covers.
The ad (which has received 339, 743 views thus far), cleverly spoofs Chatroulette’s propensity for nudity, luring unsuspecting viewers in with the temptation of a cute girl about to take off her clothes.
Once again, it seems as though the horror genre is light years ahead of the Hollywood curve when it comes to grassroots viral marketing and you know, using the Internet. The tactic seems to be working, as IMDB’s Movie Meter is plotting a 23% rise in the film’s popularity in the past week, caused by links on sites like Gizmodo and this one.
From the YouTube comments:
“You know what this proves? That men can easily be lured to their brutal deaths with sex. That’s both sad and hilarious.”
The decision to spotlight Chatroulette is made even more interesting by the fact that the film is rated PG-13.
Founded by Andrey Ternovskiy, Chatroulette’s been trying to clean up its act in a bid to appeal to advertisers and investors. In the sense that eyeballs eventually translate into cash for at least some of the parties involved, The Last Exorcism campaign is a small, albeit meta, step in the right direction.
Update: Representatives from Lionsgate PR would not give me a straight yes or no answer when I asked if the reaction shots on the left were videos of Chatroulette users i.e. “real.” Hmmm …
Update 2: Danielle DePalma from Lionsgate confirms that the reactions are in fact real. Nice.
Chatroulette! is a web site that allows users to connect to and video chat with random (site-chosen) users. It was developed by Andrey Ternovskiy of Moscow. The idea may have been influenced by Omegle, a similar service for text chat only. Chatroulette uses seven high-end servers all located in Frankfurt, Germany. Network throughput is 7 gigabits a second. The application uses Adobe Flash Player, and the RTMFP peer-to-peer technology acquired from Amicima and introduced in Flash Player 10.0. From now on...