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The Dark Knight Rises and Viral Marketing
Before the The Dark Knight released, Warner Bros. and 42 Entertainment teamed up for an expansive and epic marketing campaign. Using primarily the internet and starting back around May 2007, users found various websites pertaining to Gotham City and its inhabitants. Probably the most famous piece of marketing found was the grisly unveiling of Heath Ledger in Joker makeup. To find the picture, users went to www.ibelieveinharveydenttoo.com and emails by fans slowly revealed this image:
It was one of the coolest moments ever for me. That summer, www.whysoserious.com launched and a fan event started at Comic-Con. All the while, various web sites were popping up pertaining to Gotham City restaurants, banks, the police department, and others. There were contact emails and phone numbers on the sites for users to interact. It was pretty f**king cool. I managed to join ‘Citizens for Batman’ and recevied an awesome kit from them with keychains, pins, and stickers. I received phone calls from Jim Gordan, Harvey Dent, and an eerie recording of a break-in at the news station ending with the Joker’s laugh.
Even printed copies of the Gotham Times were available, if you knew where to go. I tried to get a cake, a bowling ball, and other stuff from the Joker but never got to the locations in time. I listened in on a press conference for Harvey Dent and all kinds of other stuff. The viral marketing was an exciting time for Bat-fans. It made you really feel like a part of the story. To announce the prologue for the movie premiering in front of I Am Legend, users went to www.whysoserious.com and found a page error. A message full of Ha-Has was revealed after highlighting the page and the message, “See You In December” was hidden in the ha-has (it still works!).
For over a year, I ate up everything about the movie. I did every bit of viral marketing, ate up every Gotham City Pizza from Dominos that I could, bought the Nokia Dark Knight cell phone, and was an active participant in the marketing with every partner. It was an incredible and exciting time.
Now with the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises, what have they done? Nothing really. There was a brief marketing stint with the reveal of Bane on Twitter and hearing the chants but nothing much.
With the release of some CIA papers, it’s getting interesting. I can only that it’ll get better. I’m really excited.