DVD Promotion Lets Friends Send Scary Prank Calls

Published on .

Brand: 'Ring Two'
Brand owner: DreamWorks Home Entertainment
Category: Entertainment
Date: August-November 2005
Country: Australia, U.K., Italy, Germany, Benelux, France, Spain
Agency: New Media Maze

"You have seven days..."
In the horror film "The Ring," when a videotape of a mystical and sinister short film winds up in the hands of some hapless viewer, a spell is cast that ensures his or her grisly demise in just seven days after ejecting the tape. Watch the film and you are destined to die.

The media idea behind this campaign was to take the film's story line literally in order to promote the DVD of the scary flick to consumers. It is one of the first examples of a Web promotion and mobile campaign working seamlessly.

Visitors to could enter the mobile numbers and e-mail addresses of friends in order to play a rather evil practical joke. The "friend" then receives an e-mail inviting him or her to view the film trailer.

So far, so ordinary. However, after seeing the link the consumer receives the fateful call -- just like the scenes from the movie. The unfortunate victim of the prank hears the whispering voice predicting imminent death.

After a moment's terror the windup is revealed and the victim is asked to supply more names to carry the idea on to more unsuspecting members of this "media ring."

This is a genuinely scary viral campaign and one that has engaged thousands of consumers. Like the film, it is destined for a global release. In Australia alone, more than 10,000 people have been spooked, courtesy of New Media Maze.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database.
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