Promoting 'Paranormal Activity'

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG235 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Promotion / Services Marketing
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Paramount Pictures Corporation
Industry : Media and Entertainment
Countries : US


On October 16, 2009, a low budget horror film 'Paranormal Activity' was released in the US. The film went on to become a huge hit after it opened to packed houses and grossed US$ 22 million in one week. By the end of October 2009, the film had earned a staggering US$ 65 million. According to experts, the film was one of the highest revenue earning low-budget films in Hollywood. The success of the film was widely attributed to the unique promotional strategies adopted by California-based film production and distribution company, Paramount Pictures Corporation (Paramount Pictures). The promotional strategies started with a buzz created by free midnight screenings in college towns and word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) through social media and other channels.

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The most significant part of its promotion strategy was the 'Demand It' campaign launched by Paramount Pictures on the movie's website, ''. The site included a 'Demand It' tab that required the user to click and demand the release of the film in their city.


Analyze the promotional strategies for Paranormal Activity and understand the factors that led to its success.

Understand how Paramount Pictures managed to get huge publicity for the film.

Study how the promotions of films have changed with the emergence of new media channels such as the Internet.


  Page No.
Achieving Abnormal Success 1
The Making of 'Paranormal Activity' 2
Initial Hiccups 3
Promotional Strategies 5
Some Initial Reactions 9
The Results 9
Outlook 11
Exhibits 13


Service marketing, Promotional strategies, word-of-mouth marketing, viral marketing, online marketing, Viral movie marketing, 'Demand It' campaign, Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch Project, social networking, Paramount Pictures

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