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Neo Advertising - Terrance Bell

Way back in 90s, in a time of bleached blonde hair, butterfly clips, and AOL instant messenger times were different, advertising was different. Companies wanted to be loud and in your face. They used highly saturated colors and larger than life characters to sell you on a product, on an idea. It was the end of a century, and to most maybe the end of us. By the end of the decade there was a growing fear that maybe this would be end of our civilization as we know it, the Y2K panic, and there was one movie that took advantage of this phenomenon.


In 1999 Warner Bros. wanted to release a new type of film, a film that could stand out against the likes of blockbuster hits coming out that year such as “The Mummy” and “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”. It was a new type of a movie so why not have a new type of advertising for the film. “The Matrix” released on March 31st, 1999 to audiences who had no idea what the movie they were about to watch was about. Before buying their tickets, all audiences had to go on was a highly edited sixty second trailer with the end title being “In 1999 The Matrix Has You”. Now whether the movie was going to be good or not (it was) did not matter because of such intriguing advertising.


“The Matrix” has become a cult classic, but most importantly the film’s form of advertising is still used today. Back in the 90s and especially now, people are intrigued by the unknown, and in a world with so much information all the time it can be kind of a relief to go into things without knowing everything about it. A new form of advertising that tells without telling, and shows without showing, and that is something advertisers everywhere should understand.



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