Why The Cloverfield Paradox Marketing Campaign Matters
In October 2016, it was reported that the next chapter of the Cloverfield anthology would be called “The God Particle” (later renamed by Paramount to “2017 Cloverfield Movie”). Initially set to release February 2017, the film was delayed 3 times by Paramount, eventually landing on an April 20th, 2018 release date. With the film seemingly wrapped up in post-production hell, a report by The Hollywood Reporter in late January 2018 stated that Netflix was going to purchase the film from Paramount.
With rumblings circulating that Netflix was looking to drop a surprise trailer for the film similar to the trailer for its predecessor, 10 Cloverfield Lane (IMDB Page), no one truly expected the bold move they would carry out next.
Cue Super Bowl Sunday.
During the big game, Netflix released a 30-second advertisement for the movie now known as The Cloverfield Paradox—with a surprise bonus that viewers could stream it immediately following the Super Bowl.
Standing Tall Next to Giants
As the most watched event in the United States, studios used the Super Bowl as a chance to showcase sneak peaks at some of their biggest films. Disney dominated the Super Bowl hype this year, promising moviegoers trailers for their IP giants, Star Wars, and Avengers. According to comScore statistics, Disney also took over the online conversation, as both of their trailers were the most talked about among social media platforms during the game. However, sneaking in at third in the conversation, ahead of both Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was The Cloverfield Paradox (Online Trailer).
The surprise post-Super Bowl release date gave fans of the Cloverfield franchise and film hype followers something to talk about and look forward to while waiting for the game to end. To have a foothold on social media ahead of two established franchises (as well as a movie featuring megastar The Rock) was no small feat.
No Time to Think
With The Cloverfield Paradox releasing right away, Netflix was able to do something that most major studios have a tough time doing: control the conversation. As exciting as the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was, the viewer still has to wait a few months for the film to come out, in which time anything could occur to affect their perception of it. But for The Cloverfield Paradox, there wasn’t a moment for film aficionados and Cloverfield die-hards to dissect the film, or reviewers to sway the opinions of the average Joe.
With The Cloverfield Paradox releasing right away, Netflix was able to do something that most major studios have a tough time doing: control the conversation
Instead, Cloverfield fans got excited about a new Cloverfield movie, and everyone else saw something unique unfolding before them. There was no need for months of campaigning or flashiness of famous movie stars/directors, just a cool idea. And with that cool idea, Netflix was successfully able to throw a wrench in the standard movie marketing cycle of months/weeks and bring it down to mere hours, by creating just enough hype for the film and immediately taking advantage of it.
Conclusion: A Success Story?
There’s no real way to tell how successful Netflix’s marketing technique was until they release their next subscriber growth update, or if they stole some viewers away from NBC with their successful drama, This Is Us, which was also airing right after the Super Bowl. However, one can be certain that they did swipe a lot of the spotlight from all the major Hollywood studios. Solo: A Star Wars story, Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World, Mission Impossible all had trailers released on Super Bowl Sunday, but none of the films were readily available for viewers to experience when everything was said and done. The Cloverfield Paradox was available, however, and that’s where Netflix was the clear winner.
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