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The Blair Witch Project A report for advertisement This report includes the marketing analysis of this project

, including the PESTLE and SWOT analysis. It also includes the problems this project faced and solutions to them, with the comparison to some similar movie projects.

Submitted to Prof. SHAM SHARMA

A presentation report for advertisement Submitted by:

Name Ankit Tomar Deepanshu Tyagi Neha Srivastava Ritika Chhabra

Roll no. 10 13 19 31 47

Section FA2 FA2 FA2 FA2 FA2

Vaishali Dhiman

Sham Sharma for providing us valuable guidance at various stages of my project. without them we would not be able to bring this project report. We like to thank all our colleges at IIPM. We like to remember the wisdom provided by GOOGLE and ALTAVIST. But as we are being humans by the time of our birth. Well! We do not have any long list of names to give them any credit for this project report as the credit mostly goes to us. for their valuable suggestions and auto completion dialogue boxes. Sham Sharma again for entertaining this acknowledgement without taking any action against pranks and been always supportive and motivator for innovation. New Delhi who always do their best by helping us to enjoy the life at its peak by bunking the lectures and spending time with PVR cinemas. We take this opportunity to thank Prof. who always believe that the last bencher is not capable of doing nothing. we are also dependent. Finally we would like to thank to Prof.Acknowledgement Any accomplishment requires the effort of many people and this work is no different. . their criticism challenged us to prove them wrong. We owe our sincere thanks to the college faculties.com.

Table of content .

This case study describes and analyses the success of the marketing launch of The Blair Witch Project. .Executive summary The Blair Witch Project was a low budget movie made by student filmmakers that become an international box office hit in 1999. The marketing team employed a range of innovative strategies and tactics to stimulate audience demand. Blair Witch was a landmark in movie marketing and distribution because it was the first time that any movie had successfully leveraged the Internet as a marketing platform to reach a wide audience.

Terms of reference .

Methodology .

There are news stories about the rescue efforts and recovery. and the reason for the huge „buzz‟ around it was because audiences weren‟t sure whether the film is genuine footage or scripted. lawsuits. As the producers of the Blair Witch Project had a budget of around $250 ooo. .com/). The film was produced by the Haxan Films production company. including a campaign by the studio to use the Internet and suggest that the film was a record of real events. etc. the film was shown at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. although their video and sound equipment was discovered a year later. and released by Artisan on 30 July 1999 after months of publicity. A lot of the budget was spent on the Blair Witch website. pictures of “found” video and audio tape and film (with links to let you see and hear the footage).blairwitch. and Micheal C. Thr film then went on to gross over$248 million worldwide. In addition. was in competition with Hollywood companies with budgets of millions of dollars. and because it was an independent film company called Artisan. statements from the students‟ parents. The distribution strategy was created by Artisan studio executive Steven Rothenberg. making it one of the most successful independent films of all time. which includes a detailed history of the bogus legend dating back to the 1700s. as well as police photos of the car and other gear supposedly discovered in 1995. the trailers were also very effective as they too were low budget and didn‟t reveal anything about the film which enticed people to watch it. Williams) whogo into the „Black Hills‟ to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. Joshua Leonard. This “recovered footage” is presented as the film the viewer is watching. The film relates the story of three student filmmakers (Heather Donahue. and disappeared. The Blair Witch Project was marketed particularly through the internet.(http://www. The viewers are told that the three were never seen or heard from again. Marketing The Blair Witch Project was a lot more challenging than for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows due to the low budget the producers and directors had.Introduction The Blair Witch Project horror film pieced together from amateur footage. The DVD was released in December 1999 and presented only in fullscreen.

(slightly more than $30.Body The Blair Witch Project The movie cost a little more than a jeep Grand Cherokee to produce. The Blair Witch Cult. this generation is at home with the grainy images of Blair Witch. Gen Xers are a major segment of the movie-going public and they especially like horror films. it is shot on 16 mm film using handheld cameras that produce a grainy.com) with photos of Josh’s abandoned car. their children begin disappearing and they fled Blair. no music. the town of Burkittsville. it is a horror movie without scenes of gore or blood smeared knives. When the townspeople banished Elly. Myrick and Sanchez posted a spooky web site in June 1998 in which they reported the disappearance of three student filmmakers. In November 1809 a book. Why was it a success? Hindsight articles attribute Blair Witch’s success to its wed sit and the impact of the internet on “selling” movies. of the students have been found. Josh and Michael. Tapes . the mind goes into overdrive that does not automatically stop with the movie. and reports that Duffel bags. they were hooked by the unfolding nature of the drama.  the amateur filmmakers who shot the movie. which began in February 1785 when some children accused Elly Edward of Blair MD. Furthermore. The legend’s last entries occur in October 1994. They also created the Blair Witch legend. interviews with townsfolk. Josh and Michael went into the woods in search of the legend – never to be seen alive again. In short. You do not know what happened to Heather. it was a mockumentary. When surfers found the Blair website. What is unknown is what is feared and Blair Witch excels at the unknown. You never see the Witch . very little action and Ms. of luring them into her home for their blood. Gen Xers like to discover things on their own. MD is founded on the old Blair town site. You do not know for sure what happened when it is over. marketing-wise than just  the focus on the internet. When Artisan Films took over. Surfers thought it was real and began researching. Although they don’t like to be advertised to. But the truth is a little more fundamental. twenty-something audience. jumpy image that actually made some viewers vomit from motion sickness. But a steady diet of “Screams” and “I Know what you did s-type” movies left them bored with the Shining–style bloody Knife and Psycho-style gore. and  the marketing talent of the people at Artisan Films (the company that distributed Blair Witch) fully understood their Gen X. Artisan salted it with police reports. Having grown up with handheld cameras. but The Blair Witch Project grossed over $200 million. . That’s where the internet site comes in. Heather’s diary. It has no stars. To add realism to the web site. is published and in 1824. Evil in the Black hills of Maryland is never seen.000). In addition. recovered “forage” from the woods. making it the most successful movie ever based on revenue-to-cost ratio.etc. Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. and so was the style of the film. Blair Witch type of Horror was well-suited to its audience. Chat rooms sprang up and the Buzz was heard around the net. they expanded the web site (blairwitch. private investigator reports. pictures of corroded film canisters.But when you see macabre objects like stick men hanging in the trees. when Heather.

Artisan used college student “street teams” to distribute fake “missing Person” posters on college campuses. such as a trip to the Sundance film festival where Blair Witch was “discovered”.On their own and adding to the lore of the Blair Witch. an older audience might not. Instead of the usual movie trailers. they turned down a national beer company. To be effective. What happens next for Blair Witch? Maybe a sequel or a prequel? Maybe we finally meet Elly Kedward or find out what’s in the woods. build anticipation of the movie and keep them coming back. the site has to do more than advertise movies. entitled “the Curse of the Blair Witch”. They also screened the films. Artisan Films continually updated the web site with new information and new links. When Artisan planned the release of the home Video / DVD for Halloween. You also have to understand your audience. What do we learn about web advertising form Blair Witch? First. for tie-in promotions. the web is a level-playing field. it has to involve fans. Most movies don’t spin off Comic books or games as Blair Witch did. in favor of youth-oriented brands like Skechers. It also ran contests with non-traditional prizes. By the time that the movie opened. However. early on at 40 colleges. While twenty-somethings want to discover things. The Sci-Fi Channel ran a documentary. You’ve got to have content. Artisan leaked their trailers to the web site “Aint’ it Cool new” and to MTV. The promo story doesn’t stop with the internet. What you spend doesn’t matter as much as what you say. The internet is interactive. All of these promotion-utilized channels aimed directly at the target market in ways that captured their interest and involvement. the success of the original will be hard to duplicate . the Blair Witch project could claim over 180 million hits on their web site alone. an internship at the studio and a “trip for three” to Burkittsville.

O.technological L-legal E.environmental The Blair Witch project Paranormal activity The Sixth sense The asylum horror SG:suiciders must die . The Blair Witch Project excels the other projects in hitting the target market much more than the similar projects.T. Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat As very clear from the above comparison.social T. S. PESTLE analysis P-political E-economical S.W.W.Analysis Some analysis of this project with reference to the other similar projects is given below.T.O. analysis S.

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remember that the period in question is more than two decades ago? Q2. . If you were he producers of the movie. how will you evaluate the effectiveness of the internet as a promotional medium. Visit the Blair Witch website and other horror movies and compare them in terms of attractiveness. involvement and the type of content.Questions ? Q1. atmospherics.

The addition of mainstream advertising for the film’s fourth week in release then pushed the film to additional success (number two on the weekend box office charts for the second week in a row with a take of $24. they had practically guaranteed a return on those funds. let their online buzz and the success of their limited opening weekend pave the way to a victorious wide release weekend. the filmmakers reached out to potential fans on message boards. they went beyond that and let storytelling create a spectacle.3 million). hear or know the whole story. people will associate the entertainment with your product. They used alternate means to advertise. mysterious. entertaining. their target audience was also reached via the Sci-Fi Channel and the recruitment of street teams. They didn’t wait for anyone to come to them. the woods. Like the film itself. influencers and the media they actually use. don’t sell. never did you get to see. This isn’t something I recommend everyone tries as it is a huge risk. they sought out their target audience. not their product and not themselves. They didn’t stop with the tangible real world specs of their product. Lesson: Sometimes less truly is more. while also letting our imaginations and desires to believe in ghosts. As money became attached to the film. Instead of pitching people on your product. 4) Make ‘Em Want More Key: Their campaign always left people wanting more. From the beginning. If you leave your consumer wanting too much and then they feel your product doesn’t deliver . the producers didn’t use mainstream advertising outlets until there was already money in the bank. witches and legends run wild. intriguing and exciting you don’t have to market your product. they zeroed in on their niche audience and then used that as leverage. the unknown and the super natural. 3) Put Money Where Your Audience Is Key: Similarly to true audience targeting. By the time they put down big advertising dollars. Lesson: Just because it’s there and just because that’s the way it has always been done. but none of it explained the film or let those that believed it was real know it was fake. Tap into the audience’s culture. Lesson: Know your audience and go find them. doesn’t mean you have to use mainstream advertisers. which sold the film. There was actually quite a bit of information on the Blair Witch at the time it was released. reach them through their peers. 2) True Audience Targeting Key: They took their message to the people that wanted to hear it.Findings 1) Unmarketing Key: The filmmakers focused on story. When you make things fun. With The Blair Witch Project. Lesson: Entertain. The film played on our fears of the dark. The campaign behind the film touched on those same fears and had all of our imaginations conjuring up horrible thoughts and visions. seek out your audience and try to start a conversation with them. It’s what’s known as unmarketing. entertain them. Instead of throwing you message out there and hoping it connects with someone. it markets itself. As long as your brand is at the center of all that you do.

Every bit of information put out about that the Blair Witch was meant to spark interest.what they expected. its genius branding.com the website was an extension of the film that sold the film without selling it. With BlairWitch. but movie websites were pretty damn boring back in 1999. Once it did. . (By the way. That’s genius storytelling. Photos and information was about the most you could expect from them. But a company or product’s website is the glue that holds its brand all together. Night Shyamalan’s stuff. But more importantly. It’s the one place online that you fully control the message of your product or company. It can be a portal into your online solar system and a home base that all your secondary sites funnel to. they’re not happy. This of course pushed everyone in to talking about and having to see it. which only confused people more and further led them to believe the story was real. Catfish has completely hooked me by using this technique. This is why I think many dislike this film and why they also dislike a lot of M.) 5) Connect the Dots (Even If You’re Not Connecting Any Dots) Key: Filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez tied their campaign altogether with a website that was ahead of its time. Many people forget. With blogs and social media sites. That’s genius filmmaking. many of us have gotten lazy and don’t see the need for up keeping websites. people went online and searched for more information. Lesson: Websites are more than brochures filled with facts. It all worked as advertising for their website. make sure your website is getting the job done. We rushed out to see the film as soon as we could. It delivered with scares and more mystery and this left many of us wanting even more. If your intention is to lead people into thinking something is so when plenty of other sites say it isn’t.

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Glossary .