10 Best Movie Marketing Campaigns Ever

6.The Matrix

The Matrix

During the Super Bowl in 1999, a random film ad ran that would ask a groundbreaking, memorable question that would be solved over the course of four years and three films: "What is The Matrix"? The Blair Witch experiment looming in the distance, this was one of the last major film campaigns that banked itself on a simple teaser trailer being enough to spark interest. A random flash of imagery, both organic and mechanical, and to top it all off; we got our first look at Bullet Time! If nothing else stuck out in your mind, it was the fact that Keanu Reeves (who was a hit or miss prospect at that time, and would go back to being so afterwards) could dodge slow motion bullet trails. It was an effect so influential, it helped make the Max Payne games just that much more memorable, and would lend itself to parody through countless media. But ultimately, it all came down to the fact that they showed off their best tricks in that simple Super Bowl teaser, but did so in a manner that didn't spoil the movie itself. The best part about this campaign is there wasn't all that much to it. Just a couple trailers, and a hard, surprise sell on the film's potential. By the end of the Super Bowl spot, you could practically hear the fans tripping over themselves to get to a computer and log onto "WhatIsTheMatrix.com", which would also be used in pushing teaser materials for the sequels a couple years later. Fortunately, at least for The Wachowski's sake, the minimalist campaign worked, and The Matrix was a great success that helped change the way we looked at (and learned about) upcoming films.
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Mike Reyes may or may not be a Time Lord, but he's definitely the Doctor Who editor here at What Culture. In addition to his work at What Culture, Mr. Reyes writes for Cocktails and Movies, as well as his own personal blogs Mr. Controversy and The Bookish Kind. On top of that, he's also got a couple Short Stories and Novels in various states of completion, like any good writer worth their salt. He resides in New Jersey, and compiles his work from all publications on his Facebook page.