Why So Serious? Marketing Campaign

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An analysis of the Why So Serious? viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight.

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Why So Serious? Marketing Campaign

  1. 1. The Dark Knight’s social media advertising campaign. WHY SO SERIOUS?
  2. 2. The Campaign. • Why So Serious? was a viral campaign for The Dark Knight. It was an interactive game that started online but spilled into the real world. • Users were encouraged to side with either ‘The Joker’ or ‘Harvey Dent’, being contacted by the character by e-mail, on the phone and through websites. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpuC7HhCPWA
  3. 3. Specialised Websites. • A list of websites used as part of the campaign can be found here: http://www.whysoseriousredux.com/sitemap.htm • Some of these sites are ones ‘created’ by the Joker, such as whysoserious.com • Some, however, are ‘vandalised’ versions of supposed real ‘Gotham’ websites – these flesh out the reality of the world of the film, as it gives the fictional city online context.
  4. 4. Phone messages. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDkh62oL1Y4&feature=relat ed • This is the voicemail left by ‘The Joker’ once users signed up. • This interactivity, combined with e-mails and texts, made players feel involved in the film and its campaign, as each clue left via these services led to the player uncovering a trailer or poster etc.
  5. 5. Real-world action. • Players were encouraged to rally for either ‘The Joker’ or ‘Harvey Dent’, and most took this very seriously.
  6. 6. Why was it so effective? • Target audience: people who enjoy ARG (alternate reality games) generally enjoy comic books and their adaptations. It also hits the young target audience, as younger people tend to want to make a stand and be heard. • Scale: the scale of the game was extremely vast. It was worldwide and involved millions of people in the game. Involving people made them want to see the film as they felt they were a part of it.
  7. 7. Why was it effective? • Heath Ledger’s death: Warner Brothers really cashed in on the death of Heath Ledger, using his image as The Joker for most of its marketing. It is well known his death involved preparing for The Joker, and so people would want to see what destroyed him. • Batman’s non-appearance: Batman is practically non-existent in this campaign. This makes it feel as if the game is the set up for the film, and in the film Batman will come and sort out the problems the game has caused. This once again involves the audience.

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