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On The Tail of Warner's Viral Campaign

Warner Brothers’ viral campaign for The Dark Knight is going so well that we’ve decided to cover it from start to end. Like any good viral campaign, we’ve only seen the beginning and more pieces are developing, falling in place, and further whetting our appetites for the movie.
Soon after the world got its first glimpse of the Joker, on the site I believe in Harvey Dent Too the image was taken off and replaced with red lettering that read ‘Page not found.’
msaleem warnviralsec1 On The Tail of Warner's Viral Campaign
Now to the uninitiated observer this may seem as if the page was actually removed, but since we have established that Warner is using guerrilla marketing tactics to get the word out on their movie, every related move they make now is going to be scrutinized several times over. And in this case, when you do a ‘select-all’ for the text on the page, you are confronted with the Joker’s maniacal laughter all over the page, and the hidden message partly reveals itself.
msaleem warnviralsec2 On The Tail of Warner's Viral Campaign
But even that’s not all. Taking it a step further, do the following:
1. Copy and paste all the text on the page to a document.
2. Find and remove the text “Page not found.”
3. Find and remove the letters ‘h’ and ‘a’.
Once you perform those 3 steps, you are left with the following:
msaleem warnviralsec3 On The Tail of Warner's Viral Campaign
Remove all the spaces from the text and you’re left with the following four words:
seeYOuInDECeMbER
Notes
With its previous moves, Warner launched its viral marketing efforts and set the ground for the entire campaign. We got a look at Harvey Dent and our first glimpse at the Joker, and we didn’t really have to jump through any hoops, which made it easier to indulge ourselves. Once they got the attention of the fans of The Dark Knight, they could up the ante and make their efforts more difficult and more convoluted simply because they know that people are somewhat on to them now.
By making it harder for us to find out what they are up to, they’ve added a ‘game factor’ to the entire thing, and at the end, they leave the player with more tantalizing details: ‘See you in December’, but what’s coming in December, we still don’t know. Of course the vagueness of the message is entirely intentional. The movie isn’t released till (tentative date) July 18, 2008 and they have to keep us excited and looking for clues for at least another 14 months.
The only thing I’m worried about here is that they might have started their campaign too soon and if they don’t keep it up and keep making it more interesting/exciting, it may all blow over before the movie release nears.

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2 thoughts on “On The Tail of Warner's Viral Campaign

  1. Looks like the start of another great ARG (alternate reality game).
    The folks that come up with these ARG campaigns know that there are many (obsessed) hardcore fans out there so they’ll conspire to make the clues harder and more cryptic as the game progresses. This should be fun to follow…

  2. I liked the Harvey/Joker aspect, but I’m afraid that is just too complicated for too little pay-off. The sort of stuff which has been done to promote the Harry Potter books (giving away secrets etc..) is so much better done..