Prometheus ' marketing campaign began on July 21, 2011 at the San Diego Comic-Con International, where images and footage from the film were presented by Lindelof and Theron; Scott and Rapace participated via satellite contribution. A segment of the footage showed Theron performing naked push-ups, which attracted much attention. A teaser poster was released on December 14, 2011, with the tagline, "The search for our beginning could lead to our end." A bootleg recording of an incomplete trailer was leaked online on November 27, 2011, but was swiftly taken down by Fox. The trailer was released on December 22, 2011.
On March 17, 2012, Scott, in partnership with AMC Theaters, hosted the premiere of the first full Prometheus trailer at the AMC Downtown Disney during WonderCon in Anaheim, California. The event was streamed live via Facebook, Twitter, and the AMC Theater website, and the trailer was posted on AMC's YouTube channel immediately after its debut. Reactions to the trailer from WonderCon attendees, and on Twitter, were generally positive, and it received nearly three million views in the three days following its release. On April 10, 2012, media outlets were shown a 13-minute montage of scenes in 3D from the film's opening at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square, London. The screening, and in particular the 3D visuals and the performances of Fassbender, Rapace, Theron, and Elba, was well received.
On April 29, 2012, the international launch trailer debuted in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 during the first advertisement break of the TV show Homeland. Viewers were encouraged to share their opinions about the trailer on Twitter, some of which were then shared in a live broadcast during a later break. This was the first time that viewers' tweets were used in a broadcast advertisement. A competition, offering viewers a chance to win tickets to the film whenever the social platform Zeebox detected the advertisement airing, was launched on that site. On May 8, 2012, the advertisement became the subject of an investigation by the British broadcasting regulatory body Ofcom for allegedly breaching broadcast rules when a voiceover encouraged viewers to book tickets during the advertisement with the Channel 4 logo onscreen. The broadcast potentially broke a ruling that advertising and teleshopping must be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.
Although marketers typically avoid promoting adult-oriented films to reach a broader demographic, the film attracted several promotional partners including Coors, Amazon, and Verizon FiOS, which were estimated to have spent $30 million in marketing support. Amazon directed interested users to purchase tickets through Fandango, and placed promotional material in products shipped to customers; this was the first time that Amazon had allowed such marketing by an external company. The premiere in London was streamed live via the film's website and the Verizon FiOS Facebook page. The event was facilitated by BumeBox, which took audience questions from social sites and gave them to reporters to ask at the event. The National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) released a series of Prometheus action figures in September 2012. A book, Prometheus: The Art of the Film, containing production art and behind-the-scenes photographs, was released on June 12, 2012.
A viral marketing campaign began on February 28, 2012, with the release of a video featuring a speech by Pearce, in character as Peter Weyland, about his vision for the future. Set in 2023, the video presents a futuristic vision of a TED conference, an annual technology and design event held in Long Beach, California. The segment was conceived and designed by Scott and Lindelof, and directed by Scott's son, Luke. The production was made in collaboration with, and made available through TED because Lindelof wanted to introduce new audiences to the conference itself. Lindelof said that the scene takes place in a futuristic stadium because "a guy like Peter Weyland—whose ego is just massive, and the ideas that he's advancing are nothing short of hubris—that he'd basically say to TED, 'If you want me to give a talk, I'm giving it in Wembley Stadium.'"
TED community director Tom Rielly helped the film's producers gain approval for the use of the TED brand, which had not previously been used for promotional purposes. Rielly was involved in designing the 2023 conference, and said that the association generated millions of unique visits to the TED website. The video's release was accompanied by a fictional TED blog about the 2023 conference and a tie-in website for the fictional Weyland Corporation. On March 6, 2012, the Weyland website was updated to allow visitors to invest in the company as part of a game, which would reveal new Prometheus media.
During the 2012 WonderCon, attendees at the film's panel were given Weyland Corporation business cards that directed them to a website and telephone number. After calling the number, the caller was sent a text message from Weyland Corporation that linked them to a video that was presented as an advertisement for the "David 8" android, narrated by Fassbender. An extended version of the video, released on April 17, 2012, lists the android's features, including its ability to seamlessly replicate human emotions without the restrictions of ethics or distress. A full page "David 8" advertisement was placed in The Wall Street Journal; a Twitter account operated by a David8, that allowed Twitter users to ask the character questions, was included. A partnership with Verizon FiOS was launched, offering a virtual tour of the Prometheus spaceship. Another video, "Quiet Eye", starring Rapace as Shaw, was released on May 16, 2012, and debuted on the Verizon FIOS Facebook page. In a telephone call monitored by Yutani, a fictional company from the Alien series, Shaw requests Weyland's aid to seek out alien life. In France, the Saint-Martin ghost train station was converted to resemble alien architecture from the film, and was visible to passing commuters. The campaign continued after the film's release with a website that was listed during the film's end credits. The site referenced the philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, and featured a video of Weyland, who quotes from the book. Another video followed in September 2012, featuring Elba's Captain Janek preparing for a mission.
At the May 2012 Digital Hollywood conference, Lindelof said that the videos originated from the question of the film's status as an Alien prequel. It was decided that creating videos with the film's stars would generate more interest than any commentary about its connection to the Alien films. He also said that the videos needed to be cool enough to justify their existence, but not so important that their absence from the final film would be an issue for audiences.