Currently, “hype-trains” seem to be in abundance, with movies being “so scary that people just can’t finish them.” This is a marketing tactic that has been around for ages, and has never seemed to fail in getting crowds to flock en masse to the next biggest fright-fest.
While there have been some marketing strategies that have promoted outside the ads within computer and TV screens, it seems safe to say that few advertisements will literally stay with you. This is, until A24 launched their recent viral marketing campaign with their newest horror film, Hereditary.
— A24 (@A24) March 12, 2018
A24’s Hereditary premiered at SXSW this past week, with reviews swarming onto the web praising how unnervingly terrifying it is, along with the film fairing noticeably well among critical acclaim.
However, while the praise is certainly welcomed by A24, the studio wanted to send some chillingly lasting impressions outside of the reviews. But how would they do this? Reported by A.V. Club, A24 decided to promote the film immediately after its premier at SXSW by sending petit, unnerving, unsettling dolls to select viewers.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 12, 2018
Following the night of the Hereditary premier, viewers opened their doors to find these tiny, little, hellish “toys” sitting upon their door steps. The dolls were accompanied with tags and labels inscribed with the viewers name, along with “Will you take care of me?” Pictures of the dolls have been circulating the “Twitter-sphere,” but it would seem there are many more in stock than the ones sent out.
A24 uploaded a photo to their twitter displaying their collection of nightmare-fuel dolls, one of the tweets saying “collect them all.”
— A24 (@A24) March 12, 2018
While there is no confirmation yet as to how each doll ties to the film, or if A24 will be sending more of these films out, one doll in particular does stand out in its relevance to Hereditary.
Barry Jenkins received a doll after his viewing of the film, and while this is speculation, his doll stands out among the rest for a certain reason.
Man @A24 play too much ? After seeing the TERRIFYING @HereditaryMovie at a midnight screening last night (and checking every shadow of my room before going to bed), I woke up with THIS waiting outside my hotel room. Y’all play WAAAAAAY tew damn much ? pic.twitter.com/sKHQuuuIWa
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) March 13, 2018
Jenkins’ has an affiliation with A24 since his film Moonlight was distributed by the company, but this ties into the interest in this particular doll. The doll Jenkins’ posted appears to be a bird with sea shell wings, a severed bird head, and gold-ish beads that are arranged in a way to look like blonde hair.
Why this stands out is due to the daughter’s room in the trailer, which features a plethora of bird themed decorations, as well as the scene where a bird smashes into her classroom’s window and is then followed by the scene of her decapitating it with scissors. The hair-beads arguably bear resemblance to the daughter and mother’s hair style (the daughter’s blonde hair being hereditary, in this case).
Whether this specific doll is meant to pay homage to small details in the film, and if it was meant to be sent to Jenkins’ due to his association is (of course) speculation, but viral marketing has certainly proven its efficiency for A24 and their film.
For those who are “infected,” by this viral marketing, then it’s important to know Hereditary will be released in theaters nationwide on June 8th of this year.
I you would like to know more about Hereditary, you should absolutely read up on our review it from the SXSW premier! However, if you want to go into the film completely blind, but want more A24 related news, check out our article on A24 purchasing the horror script based on the popular short story for “Cat Person.”
Sources: A.V. Club