Service, with a 'Smile': Inside Paramount's home run of a guerilla marketing campaign

Paramount Pictures

If you're a baseball fan, you may have noticed an odd pattern recently: patrons seated behind home plate, staring into the camera with a creepy smile on their face for the entire game. 

In some cases, the people wore a brightly colored shirt reading "Smile."

Even if you're not a sports fan, the internet certainly noticed, and footage of the folks went viral

Turns out it was part of a pretty savvy marketing campaign for Paramount Pictures' new horror film Smile. And hey, if you can get Major League Baseball to get the word out about your movie -- for free -- during must-see games like the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox, that's some pretty savvy promo indeed. 

What's more, it seems to have worked: The modestly budgeted movie made more than $2 million during Thursday night previews, according to Deadline, which predicted it could make as much as $20 million this weekend.

The movie stars Sosie Bacon -- daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick -- and The Boys' Jesse T. Usher

The studio teases that Bacon's character witnesses "a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient" and "starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain."

"As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life [she] must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality."

The movie's trailer is even creepier than those planted baseball fans.

Friday, September 30, 2022 at 5:54PM by Stephen Iervolino Permalink