The world of viral marketing has become quite it’s own beast over the past five years. Many remember 2007’s Dark Knight viral marketing and how clowns took over dozens of cities in the U.S., and how the Cloverfield marketing had everybody stirring for weeks on what the movie was actually about. It looks like James Cameron and his team at Fox have now started up the viral machine for his newest film, Avatar.
The site, which is aptly named AVTR.com, follows the government program that puts humans into their AVATAR bodies, allowing them the edge they need to fight on the alien planet Pandora. AVTR.com is pretty bare-bones at this point, leaving us with some set designs of Pandora, a “recruiting” page where you can sign up for the program (or just a mailing list), a viral video convincing you to enlist, and links to the Twitter and Facebook.
As far as viral marketing goes, this site isn’t breaking ground. There is only one video on the page, and just because you throw some static at the beginning and end of a trailer, doesn’t make it “viral”. Fox hasn’t been the best at marketing to begin with, considering their work on X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.
The attempt at going viral is only proof that gorilla or viral marketing shouldn’t be left in the hands of gigantic studios or companies like Coca-Cola. Instead, leave this side of movie promotion to independent studios and films like District 9 and Paranormal Activity.