The Dark Knight Marketing And Distribution2 Feb 09
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  • 1. THE DARK KNIGHT 2008 Christopher Nolan BACKGROUND TO THE FILM’S PRODUCTION WARNER BROS.
  • 2.  
  • 3.
    • Directed by Christopher Nolan
    • Previous: Memento 2000, Insomnia , 2002 Batman Begins 2005.
  • 4.
    • The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago , as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong . Nolan used an IMAX camera to film some sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film.
    • It has also had enormous box office success, setting the record for the highest-grossing weekend opening in the U.S. with over $158 million and becoming the 4th highest grossing film of all time
  • 5. IMPORTANT FACTORS IN THE SUCCESS OF TDK
    • MARKETING campaign
    • VIRAL marketing
    • BATMAN –history and contract with audience
    • CASTING
    • DIRECTOR’S PORTFOLIO
    • DISTRIBUTION – most cinemas to date
    • Online ticket sales
  • 6.
    • Exam question: How do studios reach their audience?
    • Exam answer: through Marketing and Distribution.
  • 7. MARKETING
    • Traditional forms of Marketing
    • Viral marketing and ARG
    • Issues for debate
  • 8. Traditional forms of Marketing
  • 9.
    • The Dark Knight' s opening sequence, (showing a bank raid by the Joker) and closing montage of other scenes from the film, was screened with selected IMAX screenings of I Am Legend , which was released on December 14, 2007.
    • A theatrical teaser was also released with non-IMAX showings of I Am Legend , and also on the official website. The sequence was released on the Blu-ray Disc edition of Batman Begins on July 8, 2008.
    • Also on July 8, 2008, the studio released Batman: Gotham Knight , a direct-to-DVD animated film, set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and featuring six original stories.
  • 10.
    • On May 15, 2008, Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Great Adventure theme parks opened The Dark Knight roller coaster , which cost $7.5 million to develop and which simulates being stalked by the Joker.
    • Mattel produced toys and games for The Dark Knight , action figures, role play costumes, board games, puzzles, and a special-edition UNO card game, which began commercial distribution in June 2008
  • 11. Viral marketing and ARG
  • 12. Viral marketing
    • Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, similar to the spread of computer viruses .
    • It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.
    • Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames , ebooks , brandable software , images, or even text messages .
    • The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along.
  • 13. Viral marketing
    • The assumption is that if such an advertisement reaches a "susceptible" user, that user will become ‘infected’ (i.e., sign up for an account) and can then go on to ‘infect’ other susceptible users. As long as each ‘infected’ user sends mail to more than one susceptible user on average the number of infected users will grow.
    • It is the job of creatives in the marketing company to produce engaging material which will entice users to spread the viral.
    • Viral marketing is used to create the impression of spontaneous word of mouth enthusiasm.
    • This is called: Astroturfing :to create the impression of being spontaneous grassroots behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, Astro-Turf.
  • 14. ASTROTURFING
    • While Astro-turfing enables marketing companies to rapidly reach a potential enormous audience, the goal of such a campaign is to disguise their efforts. This is arguably designed to combat the turn against organised institutional commercialisation by young audiences . Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal or political agenda or activist organizations.
  • 15. WELL KNOWN VIRAL CAMPAIGNS
    • Cadbury's Dairy Milk 2007 Gorilla advertising campaign was heavily popularised on YouTube and Facebook
  • 16. WELL KNOWN VIRAL CAMPAIGNS
    • The 2008 film Cloverfield was first publicized with a teaser trailer that did not advertise the film's title, only its release date: "01·18·08." Elements of the viral marketing campaign included MySpace pages created for fictional characters and websites created for fictional companies alluded to in the film.
    • Avirginsplea.com claimed that a 25-year old virgin living in Toronto named Geoff needed five million hits on his website in 30 days in order for Jenn, one of his very hot platonic female friends, to help him lose his virginity.
  • 17. Viral marketing for TDK and the use of an alternate reality game ( ARG )
    • ARG = an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.
    • The form is defined by intense player involvement that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants' responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game's designers. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together within internet social networks to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities.
  • 18.
    • Marketing based ARGs can rapidly spread publicity for a film by targeting fans social network sites as fans collaborate on solving puzzles or arranging to meet to role-play certain options suggested by the game’s designers.
  • 19.
    • The marketing campaign for the 2008 film The Dark Knight combined both online and real-life elements to make it resemble an alternate reality game. Techniques included mass gatherings of Joker fans , scavenger hunts around world, detailed and intricate websites that let fans actually participate in "voting" for political offices in Gotham City.
    • The movie also marketed heavily off of word of mouth from the thousands of Batman fans perhaps supported by Astroturfing.
  • 20.
    • In May 2007, 42 Entertainment began a viral marketing campaign utilizing the film's "Why So Serious?" tagline with the launch of a website featuring the fictional political campaign of Harvey Dent, with the caption, "I Believe in Harvey Dent." The site aimed to interest fans by having them try to earn what they wanted to see and, on behalf of Warner Bros., 42 Entertainment also established a " vandalized " version of I Believe in Harvey Dent , called "I believe in Harvey Dent too," where e-mails sent by fans slowly removed pixels , revealing the first official image of the Joker; it was ultimately replaced with many "Haha"s and a hidden message that said "see you in December."
  • 21.
    • During the 2007 Comic-Con International , 42 Entertainment launched WhySoSerious.com, sending fans on a scavenger hunt to unlock a teaser trailer and a new photo of the Joker.
    • On October 31, 2007, the film's website morphed into another scavenger hunt with hidden messages, instructing fans to uncover clues at certain locations in major cities throughout the United States, and to take photographs of their discoveries. The clues combined to reveal a new photograph of the Joker and an audio clip of him from the film saying "And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule."
    • Completing the scavenger hunt also led to another website called Rory's Death Kiss (referencing the false working title of Rory's First Kiss ), where fans could submit photographs of themselves costumed as the Joker. Those who sent photos were mailed a copy of a fictional newspaper called The Gotham Times , whose electronic version led to the discovery of numerous other websites.
  • 22.
    • After the death of Heath Ledger, on January 22, 2008, Warner Bros adjusted its promotional focus on the Joker, revising some of its websites dedicated to promoting the film and posting a memorial tribute to Ledger on the film's official website and overlaying a black memorial ribbon on the photo collage in WhySoSerious.com .
    • http://batman.wikibruce.com/Whysoserious.com/Itsallpartoftheplan
    • On February 29, 2008, I Believe in Harvey Dent was updated to enable fans to send their e-mail addresses and phone numbers. In March 2008, Harvey Dent's fictional campaign informed fans that actual campaign buses nicknamed "Dentmobiles" would tour various cities to promote Dent's candidacy for district attorney
  • 23. Key aspects of viral marketing which make it a success.
    • Astro-turfing
    • ‘ ARG tasks which are co-ordinated through social networks and played out in the public domain.
    • Play’ or ‘Vandalisation’
  • 24.
    • Astro-turfing was evidently an important factor in the success of spreading various viral projects for TDK.
    • The solving of the puzzle on: WhySoSerious.com and whysoserios.com/Itsallpartoftheplan
    • Organising real-life joker rallies against Harvey Dent on: ibelieveinharveydent.com
    • and rory’sdeathkiss.com
    • Registering online for the fictitious Gotham Times through rory’sdeathkiss.com and GCN – Gotham cable News online.
  • 25.
    • Warner Bros devoted six months to an anti-piracy strategy that involved tracking the people who had a pre-release copy of the film at any one time.
    • Shipping and delivery schedules were also staggered and spot checks were carried out both domestically and overseas to ensure illegal copying of the film was not taking place in cinemas.
    • A pirated copy was released on the Web approximately 38 hours after the film's release. BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay taunted the movie industry over its ability to provide the movie free, replacing its logo with a taunting message
  • 26. Why Virals?
    • Virals tie into recent developments in Web 2.0 technology.
    • They are the institutions fight back against the netocracy created by online sites like YouTube and the loss of direct control over their material and the semiotic messages contained in them.
    • Virals are institutions answer to re-establishing an interfacing relationship with a younger technological audience.
  • 27. VIRALS and MASH UPS
    • YouTube mash-ups.
    • YouTube has provided audiences with producerly powers and their own unique and niche audiences. Much of the user generated content on YouTube, its themes or messages cannot be produced by large media institutions because of content regulations governing their output.
    • Institutional material and the messages created by them can be/are perverted with audiences taking advantage of basic filmic skills of download recording, editing and domestic cameras and phonecams.
    • A netocracy has been provided by Web 2.0 technology
    • MASH-UPS allow the public to ‘vandalise’ institutional material.
    • So why are Mash-Ups allowed?:
    • ‘ play’ with intentionally placed advertising materials by an institution.
    • Further familiarise a wider audience with the original material.
    • Foster a ‘ sense’ of control and ownership.
    • Combat a total loss of influence and product placement in and audience controlled medium.
  • 28. PREP
    • FIND THE LINKS TO THE VIRAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR TDK AND CREATE A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION.
    • Give a brief explanation of what a viral campaign is.
    • Use this handout to pick out the viral campaigns for TDK
    • Illustrate the campaigns with screen captures and images from the web.
    • You may use Wikipedia as a starting point and as a reference to links.
    • IN FOR MONDAY 1 st Lesson.
  • 29. DISTRIBUTION
    • In the United States and Canada, The Dark Knight was distributed to 4,366 theaters, breaking the previous record for the highest number of theaters held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in 2007. The number of theaters also included 94 IMAX theaters, with the film estimated to be played on 9,200 screens in the United States and Canada.
    • Online, ticketing services sold enormous numbers of tickets for approximately 3,000 midnight showtimes as well as unusually early showtimes for the film's opening day. All IMAX theaters showing The Dark Knight were sold out for the opening weekend.
  • 30.
    • The Dark Knight ultimately grossed $67,165,092 on its opening day beating the previous record of $59.8 million held by Spider-Man 3 in 2007
    • Warner Bros. is re-releasing the film in traditional theaters and IMAX theaters in the United States on January 23, 2009, the height of the voting for the Academy Awards, in order to further the chances of the film winning Oscars.
  • 31. Home Release
    • In the United Kingdom, the film had combined sales of 513,000 units on its first day of release, of which 107,730 (21%) were Blu-ray discs, the highest number of first-day Blu-ray discs sold. In the United States, The Dark Knight set a sales record for most DVDs sold in one day, selling 3 million copies on DVD on its first day of release - 600,000 of which were Blu-ray discs
  • 32. WEB disemination
  • 33. Audiences and Institutions
    • You will be asked to answer the following question: How do studio’s interface with the audience?
    • You will need to compare the process of Hollywood major: Warner bros. with British film studio: WARP Films.
  • 34. Prep
    • http://www.skillset.org/film/business/#
    • How do filmmakers reach their audience?
    • The idea
    • Producer/director/writer
    • Treatment and Pitch
    • 1000 words for Monday 1 st lesson.