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 ibelieveinharveydent.com. There is also an online newspaper created as a part of the viral campaign, TheGothamTimes.com, 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 DanaWorthington.com and CitizensforBatman.org(for more websites based on articles from The Dark Knight's viral newspaper TheGothamTimes.com, 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, WhySoSerious.com . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Superheroflix.com, 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.