District 9’s Dark Knight-style viral marketing helps it stand out

IN WHAT is rapidly becoming a more and more crowded marketplace, new sci-fi films have to try something different to stand out – and District 9 has learned that lesson well.

The previously low-profile film has been attracting some serious heat in America with its clever campaign says Sci-Fi Scoop, asking people to report aliens should they see them, and warning them not to pick any up.

I love all that breaking the fourth wall shit, and while spreading buzz through word of mouth in the real world can be a risky business, when it is done well it pays off massively.

The best example I can think of recently was the campaign for the Dark Knight, which went into viral overload and made millions of people around the world feel part of the film months before it came out. The result was a massive surge of goodwill from a super-charged audience to whom the film had a direct connection with.

If they can hoover up a share of that action, I am sure the people behind District 9 – producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp – will consider it money well spent and more films will look to move away from more traditional ideas.

We live in an ever more connected world with more and more tools to link up with people from every corner of the globe, the idea of which was science fiction only a few years ago.

While those tools can be used for real good – like Twitter’s coverage of the aftermath of the Iranian election – I’m all in favour of using it for relatively frivolous stuff like this too. Your thoughts?

While you’re pondering, here’s the trailer and the original film it is based on.

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