Saltburn: scandalous or killer marketing?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone has watched or if not heard about the new blockbuster movie Saltburn. Whether you loved it or hated it, Emerald Fennell left an impression on all of its viewers with its twisted and savage plot.

Her skill at navigating intricate storylines while maintaining a razor-sharp sense of humour has won her praise from critics and a devoted fan base. It’s interesting to understand why everyone is speaking about this scandalous film, is it the shocking scenes, killing marketing, or both?

The mix of stellar casting, catchy music and complexity of each of the characters helped drive attention and the shocking scenes quickly got spoken about through word of mouth.

The film has dominated social media and Saltburn-themed videos on TikTok alone have accumulated almost 4 billion views, and the associated film has generated over 3 million engagements with influencers and creators, reaching a combined audience of 166 million. Furthermore, the official Saltburn social AV has garnered 153 million views.

In parallel, Sophie Ellis Bexter’s 2002 song “Murder on the Dancefloor,” featured in a pivotal movie scene, has claimed the top spot on Spotify’s viral U.S. singles chart and secured the 19th position on the iTunes singles chart.

Numerous online brands and influencers have been skilfully capitalising on the popularity of Saltburn by incorporating trending sounds from these films into their content. This savvy public relations strategy not only boosts views and attention for the brands and influencers but also contributes to the overall visibility of the movie.

Is this the future for films, creating viral tension? At Rumpus we don’t go to the same extremes as Oliver Quick, but we do think it’s important to have unafraid campaigns which will get people talking.

The twisted scenes and dark humour reached word of mouth which is the goal for those who work in PR, and there indeed was, murder on the dance floor.