If we’re allowed to sell Halloween candy starting July 4th, then I should be allowed to enjoy Halloween for a few weeks after it ends. “Paranormal Activity” has to be one of the best horror movies ever created, with the perfect combination of “found footage” high thrill, and low budget. Now, with sequel “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” hitting the theaters, people, myself included, are excited to finally get some closure (or not…)
But enough about the plot, let’s pause on the packaging for a second. Paranormal Activity started with a low budget, and quickly turned into a money-making machine. But even 4 movies later, with the ability to have the flashiest promotion, the creators have decided to stick with the “low budget” managing. This is how the product was packaged, and this is how it is being perceived in the eyes of the audience.
This shows, to me at least, that money is not always the key to success. Smart management is. When creating a product, more and more demands rise with every step forward, as managers get all stressed about funding. Not to downplay funding (after all, it’s nice having a roof over your head, and the bigger the better,) it’s not everything. Having a great product is, in many ways, finding the right packaging, and selling it to the public.
I believe this video best demonstrate my claim, from two points of view. First, “Paranormal Activity” is not real, but planting the idea that it’s real in the heads of the people, is making it seem real. This is smart packaging. The creators can’t bring actual ghosts from another dimension to haunt a house, but they can create elements that our brains connect to a haunted house.
Second, this way of product promotion fits best to the Paranormal Activity packaging: not a sign marking the release date, not posters on bus stations, not a social media campaign – but one video, which has quickly gone viral.