NEW YORK – A viral video for Relativity Media/Rogue Pictures release Limitless, which opens Friday, has been viewed more than 1.4 million views on YouTube since having been uploaded on Sunday. But many people may not even have realized that it was a way to promote the film.
The video was produced by viral marketing firm Thinkmodo, according to the New York Times.
It shows a man who uses a small electronic device to hack into video screens in Times Square and play videos from his iPhone. One large video screen is shown playing a trailer for Limitless.
Thinkmodo’s work comes amid a growing desire among marketers to attract attention online with videos that get shared via Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
"You are getting your message across, but it’s tangential; it’s not a direct frontal assault,” Peter Adee, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Relativity Media, told the Times. He added that the video's do-it-yourself look is also key, saying: “You don’t have to make it perfect; if anything, that would hurt it. It has to feel organic. It has to feel original.”
“We’re pushing the engagement of an idea which leads you then to the product,” Thinkmodo co-founder James Percelay told the Times. “It just is a whole new mind-set where you don’t have to wrap everything up in a bow and if you don’t, people are going to be a lot more interested in you and what you’re selling and what your message is.”
According to the Times, the video has been mentioned on such Web sites as Gizmodo, Gothamist, Salon and NBC New York, with one site even listing it as the most popular viral video on Twitter.