Guerrilla Marketing: One of the most famous examples is The Blair Witch Project, a film that was promoted using guerrilla marketing efforts. The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American psychological horror film that was produced by five graduates of the University of Central Florida Film Program with a minimal budget and a camera. The two set up an internet campaign to spread rumors about a fictitious legend of “the Blair Witch.”
The duo created a website devoted to the Blair Witch to help support the case for this fictitious woods-based spectre. They ran with the tagline, “In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. A year later, their footage was found.”
In April 1998, the preview aired on Bravo and it drew a lot of attention. The producer of the Bravo show Split/Screen asked the duo to build a stand-alone website, because Blair Witch comments were dominating its own site and discussion board. There were people interested in this and the film wasn’t even done.
“That’s how the whole thing started. The website launched in the summer of 1998 and in November, we found out we were accepted into Sundance Film Festival. We had all this buzz going into Sundance. It was not because we spent money. It was because we had fans already, who hadn’t even seen the film. It was eye-opening,” says Mike Monello, a co-creator of The Blair Witch Project.
The Blair Witch Project grossed $248,639,099 worldwide.
The website was in place before the movie was shot.