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When it comes to movies, it’s usually the trailer that creates buzz. In the case of the movie Smile, it was the marketing campaign that made it go viral. If you’ve seen the movie or trailer, you know the premise of the movie is obvious from the title. People stare straight ahead with a smile that doesn’t reach their eyes. Needless to say, it’s incredibly creepy.

What outside the box marketing strategy did the movie makers use? They hired actors to don highlighter yellow shirts, stand up, and smile in random public places. Videos were shared on social media of various actors standing in crowds at various sporting events. A woman even stood behind Al Roker on the Today Show staring straight into the camera with a menacing smile on her face.


Why are we talking about this? This marketing strategy was successful. The movie with a $17 million budget made $22 million dollars in its opening weekend. The newly released M3gan used a similar strategy by having actors dressed as the killer doll perform a dance at sporting events and in other public places.


The inventive promotional strategy got both of these movies earned marketing. Earned marketing is exposure gained from a marketing strategy that isn’t paid for. Movie makers paid for the actors and incidentals, but onlookers shared the actors without compensation giving the movies more exposure without the additional cost.


What should you do? Come up with content that your audience will want to share and engage with. Use strategies that will get your company shared across social media. Don’t be afraid to push your creative boundaries and think outside the box!


If you need help with coming up with marketing strategies, give us a call!


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