Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
The photo to the right shows a graph of our website pageviews. Usually around 6:00pm, like most other websites, the traffic starts to dissipate. So why is /Film seeing a dramatic rise around the 8:00pm (pacific time) hour on Monday night.
Was /Film dugg? Nope.
Drumroll…. And the answer is: The 8:00pm opening night screenings of Transformers just let out. That’s what happened. Thousands of east coast movie-goers ran home to find out the answer to a question that probably bothered them throughout the entire film:
What the heck was up with that movie trailer?
Regular /Film readers will instantly know what I’m referring to. The trailer attached to Transformers is for a top secret JJ Abrams produced monster movie. I still haven’t seen the trailer, but most people tell me that it’s on level with the Independence Day Superbowl trailer from years ago. And the teaser ends with no information, other than JJ Abrams (Lost, M:I:III) is producing the flick, which will hit theaters on January 18th 2008. Don’t bother searching online to see this spectacular new trailer, because you won’t find it. I know this because of my website stats. For one reason or another /Film is the top result when you search for information on a JJ Abrams Transformer Trailer on Google. And thus explains the thousands of movie-goers, in search of an answer, and some even in search for a second look.
Paramount has even denied knowledge of any such film, or trailer for that matter. But what they have done is created the next great viral movie advertisement. But instead of using YouTube or Google video, they used the biggest movie release of 2007. It’s a genius marketing attempt, but will it work in the age of branding? Sure, people are excited now. They are searching on Google, looking for an answer. But the truth is, the movie doesn’t even have a final title (that’s publicly known at least). So those who actually took the bait and went on the internet treasure hunt will come out calling the movie either “Cloverfield” (the film’s working production title) or “The JJ Abrams Monster movie”. And before you ask (because others already have): No, the film is not called “Bad Robot”, that is the name of Abrams’ production company.
I’m just thinking out loud, and trying to play devil’s advocate. I actually think this is a great idea. It’s gotten people excited and talking about a film that otherwise could have been released as a b-level January sci-fi action movie. You can read more about the project in our previous blog coverage: