Before a movie hits theaters, studios spend a lot of money — up to millions of dollars in some cases — promoting the finished product. Ahead of a film’s release, there are teasers, trailers, billboards, and other tidbits presented to prospective audiences to pique their interests. It doesn’t matter how good a movie is — studios have to attract moviegoers to theaters so they can experience it for themselves. But with so many movies released a year, how can a film rise above the fray? With a viral marketing campaign.

Viral marketing is a style of promotion that uses audience-generated buzz to spread its message —  in this case, a movie. The more people talking about a film, the more likely others are going to see it. Let’s admit it. Whether it’s out of genuine curiosity or fear of missing out, we’re more motivated to see a movie if there’s a lot of hype surrounding it. Only then does the movie have a chance to speak for itself.

So what makes a great viral marketing campaign? Well, similar to trailers, the campaign shouldn’t give away too much of the film’s plot. An element of mystery is essential in keeping people intrigued. It also helps if the campaign’s exact approach hasn’t ever been attempted before — a little bit of novelty can really pay off. Especially now, when it feels like everything has been done. In short, the best viral marketing campaigns are creative, original, and outside of the box.

Here are 10 insanely clever viral movie marketing campaigns that were wildly successful.

The Coolest Viral Movie Marketing Campaigns

These marketing campaigns were almost as good as the movies they were hyping.
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