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Super 8: How the App Helped the Film



Super 8, the JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg movie about a mysterious train crash in a small town in Ohio, opened on June 10.  It has since earned close to $80 million in the United States and Canada alone. 

The critically-acclaimed sci-fi film did something that has never been done well before: a marketing campaign using an iPhone app.  Sure there have been movie tie-ins using iPhone apps, but most of these only feature movie trailers or a boring game.

A little less than a month before the movie opened, Paramount released the Super 8 app for the iPhone.  The app basically functions like a Super 8 camera, allowing you to shoot videos that look like an old home video from the 1960s.  Admittedly, there are several apps that give you the same functionality, but Super 8 is free.

What’s more, the Super 8 app gives you seven lenses to play with, a scratch and dirt overlay, and a frame-shake effect. You can also add titles and credits to your film clips and e-mail it to your friends.

The app makes it more interesting for you to view a trailer or film clip from the movie itself.  While playing your videos, you can get pieces of clues that would eventually lead you to a special clip on the film’s site.

Needless to say, the app is a great success, having been mentioned all over the blogosphere, and even in credible and authoritative sites such as CNet, iTunes, and TechCrunch.

With a simple yet well-thought of app, Super 8 gained a lot of buzz a week before it was set to open.  And because it was tied to a useful app, the recall was better and longer-lasting.  Unlike a trailer, the app is right there in the user’s phone.  He or she is playing with it.  That is enough recall.

You could also implement the same strategy for your products and services.  Build a useful app that is related to your company, brand, services or products and gain both recall and buzz!


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