Viral Ads for 'Elysium' Start Appearing Around New York, Los Angeles

July 3, 2013


"No one ever gets stuck in traffic on Elysium!" As we expected, a viral marketing advertising campaign has launched for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium. Following the exact plan and marketing concepts as District 9, a number of in-world text-based ads have started appearing around New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver (Blomkamp's home base). The ads have been appearing as billboards, on bus stop benches, and as posters on the street. Most of them contain text talking about how "It's Better Up There" living on Elysium, the space station orbiting around Earth. It has no traffic, affordable homes, and more. Check out photos below!

This week I went on a mission around New York City to find more of these ads, but came up empty handed. It may be a bit early in the campaign (Elysium hits theaters on August 9th) and we'll see more closer to the end of July, but there is at least one big billboard on display in Times Square. It states: "No one ever gets stuck in traffic on Elysium" with the viral URL at the bottom. Here's our own photo:

Elysium Viral Billboard

The other ads have been appearing in the form of billboards in places like Los Angeles. The "traffic" ad seems to be the most common billboard, but other ads say: "Affordable homes starting at $250 million on Elysium" and "Annual robberies in Los Angeles: 105,459; on Elysium: 0". The campaign is designed to look and feel like an in-world ad campaign on futuristic Earth to get citizens to apply for residency on Elysium, the orbiting space station (watch the trailer). This billboard photo from Los Angeles is from ComingSoon:

Elysium Viral Billboard

The rest of these ad photos were found on either Twitter or Instagram. Click any one for the original source:

Elysium Viral AdElysium Viral Ad

Elysium Viral Ad

Elysium Viral Ad

Elysium Viral Ad

Elysium Viral Ad

As far as we know, these ads are only in the real world and don't lead into the next phase of Elysium's online viral marketing. We expect to see Elysium at Comic-Con in just a few weeks, which means marketing will be ramping up. Keep an eye on the ItsBetterUpHere and Armadyne viral sites for any updates in the meantime.

Elysium, directed by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9), focuses on Secretary Rhodes (Foster), a hardened government official, who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. However, that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. The screenplay was written by Neill Blomkamp. Read more about the film's composer Ryan Amon here. Sony/Columbia has Elysium set to hit theaters August 9th next month. See the trailer.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Feat, Hype, Sci-Fi, Viral Marketing



If I was sitting in traffic and saw that I would be pissed.

DAVIDPD on Jul 3, 2013


Alex, there's some cool ones here, too:

Chris Bob on Jul 3, 2013


Thats insane LOL But really awesome simultaneously.

mmmmmmm on Jul 3, 2013


I notice that due to the subject matters and tone of Neill Blomkamp's films, they have a lot of potential for cool viral marketing. District 9's posters were awesome too.

Anonymous Guy on Jul 3, 2013


indeed, both have genuinely impressed, i think because Blomkamp's films may be futuristic but are grounded in a still recognisable reality. sometimes i think viral marketing gets a bit carried away with itself, but these tie in nicely with the film, and are simple, direct and have impact. plus they are a hundred times more enjoyable than another floating heads combo.

son_et_lumiere on Jul 3, 2013


You nailed it right on the head! And yes, I agree about this being way better than floating heads. And WAY better than whatever came out of the marketing team of X-Men: First Class.

Anonymous Guy on Jul 3, 2013



Joseph on Jul 4, 2013

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