“Building Better Worlds”: The Rise of Alien’s Online Marketing Campaigns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As transmedia film franchising developed with its characteristic reboots, sequels, prequels, and shared cinematic universes, promotion costs rose in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace. As a consequence, film marketeers have devised correspondingly creative approaches to promotion using the online environment and social media. This chapter considers the evolution of online film marketing, as blockbusters transformed into transmedia franchises expanding their storytelling across media platforms. Through an examination of the award-winning promotional campaigns for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), the chapter will consider how transmedia film marketing campaigns have grown to include fictional evil corporate website worlds, “exclusive” events at media conventions (cons), personalized advertising, experiential advertising like VR simulations, and franchise universe sites. This investigation concludes that the reason Alien’s transmedia marketing is so compelling lies in its close proximity to the film’s production. As a consequence, these marketing campaigns are arguably becoming as entertaining as the films themselves. So, one of Alien’s legacies is that its “advertising is part of the picture.”

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlien Legacies
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evolution of the Franchise
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780197556023
ISBN (Print)9780197556030
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2023


  • Film marketing Film website Transmedia marketing World Building Topos/Topoi Fictional universe Paratexts
  • Media conventions
  • Film websites
  • Experiential marketing
  • Transmedia marketing
  • Film franchises


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