The last of a dying breed.
The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999, and its entire strategy was to make people believe that the fictional documentary-style movie was actually a factual account. A website was created to present some of the “evidence” – thus backing up the all-too-real-seeming trailer – and police reports, in-depth back story, legends about the Blair Witch, photos and interviews were all circulated.
Even in the days before social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, the ploy generated masses of hype, and this was further propelled by rumors on online message boards and “official” IMDb profiles for each actor that listed them as dead. The Blair Witch Project went on to garner international success, sweeping in gross earnings of almost $250 million – and this with a budget of just $22,000. It was a ground-breaker in proving just how much mileage a good viral marketing campaign can gain and a true first-of-its-kind.