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Horror and 21st Century Marketing Techniques in Jordan Peele’s “Us”

I’ve never understood the obsession with horror films. What could possess people to choose to sit down for over an hour to be scared and possibly traumatized? So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the first promotional trailer for US and was hooked the moment the opening shot began with a slowed and chilling version of Luniz's “I Got 5 On It."

Since the trailer dropped last Christmas I’ve been patiently waiting for the film's release. “Us” is Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated follow up to his 2016 Oscar-winning Get Out. Us follows Adelaide, her husband, son and daughter on an average vacation to the beach but she soon observes a series of strange coincidences causing her to fear disaster. Her worst fears are confirmed when a masked family attacks in the night. I won't spoil anything but I’d really recommend going to see Us in theaters.

From what I've witnessed marketing for the film has been rather understated compared to many other big budget films released this year. The movie only had two trailers; the original released on Christmas day and a follow up released on February 3, 2019, account for the majority of the film's marketing. A large aspect of the marketing for Us rested on the laurels of Jordan Peele and the scorching hot success of Get Out. Make no mistake, the anticipation for this film has been palpable for months but whether it can be attributed to marketing strategy, Jordan Peele's name, the power of Twitter or a star like Lupita Nyong’o is uncertain.

Jordan Peele’s name may have been the most powerful marketing tool in the Us promotion. The Us film posters highlight Jordan Peele and his award-winning film Get Out. Jordan Peele has been compared to likes of Alfred Hitchcock so who can blame them for strengthening the film with his name. When you’ve got an immensely successful, critically acclaimed film such as Get Out you don’t need to spend outrageous amounts of money on marketing. If you’re Jordan Peele or someone in casting, you cast an actress whose guaranteed to draw an audience like Lupita Nyong’o.

The glamour of the red carpet press junket lives on thanks to Lupita Nyong’o and her frighteningly gorgeous red carpet looks. Lupita Nyong’o is the lead actress on Us, her first lead role despite being an Oscar-winning actress and starring in huge franchises such as Star Wars. The press junket for most films is the same beautiful, or not so beautiful red carpet gown or well-tailored tuxedo. Her astonishingly beautiful, yet equally terrifying, red carpets have certainly served to better market the film and keep us excited!

This blog post was written by Thatcher Williams, Director of Public Relations.

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