Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Dark Knight buzz marketing campaign version 2.0

Although I briefly discussed The Dark Knight buzz campaign earlier on this month, I didn't go into great detail about how meticulous not only the buzz campaigning is for this movie, but how extensive the viral marketing is as well. The second phase of The Dark Knight buzz and viral campaigns are now in action, and there are many different elements that are involved:

There are several websites dedicated to the characters of the movies and the ongoing theme of main character Harvey Dent's campaign for district attorney of Gotham City, such as There is also an online newspaper created as a part of the viral campaign,, that features stories about Harvey Dent's campaign as well as other hints about the movie's storyline. An extension of these viral publications that was unexpected are Web sites dedicated to other stories from The Gotham Times, such as and more websites based on articles from The Dark Knight's viral newspaper, click here).

Not only are there websites dedicated to Harvey Dent, but there is also a Web site for The Joker (from other Batman movie fame) as a viral marketing tactic. The Dark Knight followers can not only be followers of the Harvey Dent campaign, but can also team with the Joker, starting by visiting his website, . In order to become one of the Joker's "henchmen" there are games to be played on the website, and now that the campaign is in it's second phase, it has expanded past the internet and has gone where not many, if any, viral and buzz campaigns have gone before: text messaging.

Fans can email to begin getting texts from "the Joker himself" with obscure hints about how to get deeper within this buzz and viral marketing campaign. According to, the first texts went like this:

"Hey clown! Long time, no crime spree! Well, put on your floppy shoes and answer this question: are you ready to get to work? (ReplyY/N)"

Fans that responded to the Joker with a 'Y' will get the following message:

"Glad to see you're still alive and kicking. I'll be in touch before Poisson d'Avril.

It was projected that the Joker's "henchmen" would receive another text around April Fool's Day.

This viral and buzz campaign is absolutely incredible. The amount of creativity in order to create a campaign that is so cunning and cutting-edge is unseen in other circumstances. The Dark Knight movie campaign, I predict, will go down in history as the most extensive and progressive marketing campaign to date, and has certainly raised the bar for all buzz and viral marketing campaigns to come. The tactics and tools they created to get fans so deeply involved in the movies promotion creates an even greater amount of anticipation than could be expected using any other marketing campaign. I can't wait to see the outcome in the fan's reception and the box office numbers to see if this genius campaign really pulled it off as greatly as I expect.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The First Ever Official Viral Film Festival

As posted on the Viral and Buzz Marketing Association website on March 12, The first ever Viral Film Festival will be happening April 28th as a part of the BEFLIM The Underground Film Festival in New York City. It will take place at the Dolby Screening Room located at 1350 Avenue of the Americas. The event is produced in partnership with, a video-sharing website. This will be the 5th annual Underground Film Festival to date. The deadline to submit video entries was March 22nd, but I have some projections and hopes for what this festival should bring to the table...

This film festival could provide so many opportunities for the marketing industry. People in the marketing industry should attend this festival in order to observe trends in viral video production and themes. People interested in video production and marketing, I hope, made submissions to this festival to get their name out into the industry to catch the interest of marketing companies and advertising boutiques who are looking to get an edge on the viral marketing strategy.


I suppose that because it is the event's first year, that some flexibility will be made-- maybe they didn't have the budget? maybe they didn't have the staff? But i believe that if there was more marketing efforts, especially in the realm of which the festival is honoring, it would be much more well-known and the pop culture circuits would take a liking to this new celebration of art.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My hometown shuts down successful viral marketing campaign? I'm ashamed.

Okay, so I know I haven't said too much about the viral and buzz marketing campaign for the movie, The Dark Knight, solely because it is so complex that I have yet to get the whole grasp on it. According to the article from, the main character of the movie, Harvey Dent, runs for district attorney for Gotham City, which is the central concept of the campaign. The buzz marketing campaign is designed like a political campaign, with the tagline "I believe in Harvey Dent." Fans of the yet-to-be released movie act as participants in the buzz campaign by setting up "campaign stations" in cities all over the US. There is a campaign bus called the "Dentmobile" that brings the campaign to each city.

On March 12, when the campaign stopped in my lovely hometown of Chicago, there was what I would like to call an "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Fiasco"-- yup, the cops broke up the promotional campaign. The campaign, was planned to run from 8 to 10 a.m., but the Chicago police broke it up within three minutes flat. Talk about a buzzkill.

To check out more photos from the campaign, check them out here.

To find out if the Dentmobile and the Harvey Dent campaign will be around your neck of the woods, check out the campaign site here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pepsi's new product and new marketing plan--excited about both

According to a UTalk Marketing's March 14 article, Pepsi will be releasing a new no-calorie, caffine-free carbonated fruit-flavored soft drink called Tava. Pepsi is targeting women ages 35-49, but is going through an untraditional route, especially for this demographic; they're using viral and buzz marketing to reach this target audience, which will be an interesting approach of which I'm excited to see the results of.

They are using viral campaign techniques such as creating its own website,, and creating banner ads. What I believe to be Pepsi's most clever tactic is sending out samples to employees of companies that are considered opinion influencers such as Google, MTV, and Apple. They are also utilizing buzz marketing by giving out samples at hip festivals and entertainments and through some businesses on the trendy Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Frank Cooper, vice president for flavored carbonated soft drinks at Pepsi-Cola North America, justifies his decision to use these up-and-coming marketing techniques for this particular demographic by stating although this isn't the typical tech-savvy market segment, "There’s a group in that category that’s ‘reborn digital.’ They’ve lived through the change and learned to adapt to it... this consumer spends significant time online, although what they do may differ from the younger consumer. They’re not I.M.-ing their friends; they’re looking at e-mail or looking up information about travel, music, food.”

Looks like Pepsi knows what it's doing, and I predict successful results.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Alert: Viral Marketing Trend Watch

While searching through blogs to find new sources, I came across Nial McFadyen's post on Today's post was about five different marketing trends of viral marketing that McFadyen has observed and predicted will come to a front this year.

McFadyen's first prediction is that branded games will become the most as the most effective technique in social network advertising. It may be that the rest of the public is more in touch with the online gaming industry (I think of it as one less procrastination tool for me), but I don't think I will be one to jump on this bandwagon. Yes, I believe that it will become more popular and effective with a particular demographic, but out of the web- savvy population, I'm not sure they'll be reaching many 20-something females. But who knows, maybe a company will find some way to strike our fancy, I'm not one to underestimate.

McFadyen also predicts that internet will be integrated with other modes of media such as TV and game consoles (in which the Web has already been integrated), and electronics and other devices will be designed to accomodate to this integration. Word on the street is that many said products are in development, and as long as they're marketed well, I have no doubt that this prediction will be verified.

Third prediction: Kid’s toy manufacturers will incorporate the internet with their toy concepts, following the success of Webkinz. I will admit, my siblings love Webkinz, and when kids love something, they can't get enough of it. Remember Tomagotchi's and GigaPets? Word to my Webkinz team in Park: take this trend into consideration, how is Webkinz going to deal with the competition?

According to McFadyen, "the improvement in targeted and local search will increase the number of small businesses that advertise online. This increase in advertising will slowly spread beyond text based search advertising and into social network advertising as well as online advertising networks that can deliver results." I, for one, agree that this trend is already in movement. My friend works for a local search engine in Chicago called Fave, and it hasn't stopped growing, and is actually the fastest growing search engine in the Chicago area. There's all sorts of local advertisements and information, and seeing that this site is becoming incredibly popular, I have no doubt that search engines for other areas would as well.

The last prediction is that small business will increasingly start creating low budget marketing initiatives based on free internet services like blogs or Facebook pages. It's becoming an increasingly popular alternative because businesses don't have to spend the cost of website design and hosting. Also, free online video sites like YouTube will continue to be used as an alternative to TV advertising, and in my opinion, commericials will become even more popular in searching since there is more flexibility for content and creativity on these sites.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our country is in recession, but the World Wide Web is still booming

As reported in this article written in Wired's blog site by Betsy Schiffman, it turns out that while the rest of America's economy is nearly in recession (see this article that Wired references for further information on our economy's demise), online marketing companies report absolutely no effect on the sales of online advertising space. In fact, according to Jon Kelley, president of online advertising and marketing firm Sure Hits, "The trend of online advertising growth is stronger than economic recessionary trends." Nice, this is what I like to hear. According to CEO of Sharpe Partners Kathy Sharpe, the industry has been growing at 25% for the last five or six years.

Wired spoke to numerous online marketers at last weeks Search Marketing Expo, and they were hard-pressed to find people who were in disagreement with Kelley and Sharpe. Rich Kahn, CEO of search engine and ad platform eZanga, bragged that he has even doubled his sales force as of this month due to increase in demand for online and viral advertising.

The cause of this constant increase is the fact that businesses realize, in increasing numbers, that viral and online marketing can't be beat in cost-efficiency and its effectiveness in ignition of word-of-mouth. T. David Akindele, senior sales executive at Pop Labs, embellishes by stating "The internet is one of the most effective way to reach a ready-to-buy customer, with the exception of word-of-mouth. Advertisers need to be online."

So it looks as if people are getting the hint. The internet is the medium with the most potential for development and the most amount of flexibility and creativity in marketing techniques. Can't wait to hear more about some really viral and buzz marketing campaigns coming up soon.