World War Z

The term “viral video” is close to meaningless as studios and companies have latched on to the idea. They don’t spread like keyboard cat, with interested parties passing them videos amongst themselves, they spread because a studio launches them into the world and tell everyone about it. World War Z is the latest movie to embrace this craze by suggesting that crisis in the world is effecting us all. Take a look.

This is a well put-together clip that doesn’t highlight the zombies or star Brad Pitt, but suggests that this is more of a disease film — more Contagion than 28 Days Later. Of course, it also suggests that the events in the movie are happening at a much slower pace than seems to be suggested from the previous marketing. The video ends with the invite to go to crisiszero.com, but (in what appears to be a bad case of planning) that just links to the UK website for the movie. Here’s that viral video:

This is a mostly smart ad campaign for a movie that’s trying to turn its image around. The film was made famous for having seven weeks of reshoots, and a totally scrapped original ending, with a handful of writers brought in to “fix” the movie. Word was that director Marc Forster had lost control on the project, but later reports surfaced (whether true or not) that the film was testing well — which is a pleasant surprise after Paramount screened footage for internet journalists to a mostly “meh” response. But this is the first beat of the big drum as marketing going to be gearing up for the film, which is scheduled to hit theaters June 21.

Does viral marketing hook you?