Dark Knight Viral Campaign

The viral advertising campaign for the new Batman movie has probably been the most elaborate and involved campaign of its sort so far. I've been following it vaguely for a bit, and it's gotten to the stage it just has to be written about. Because it rocks. A lot.

As if people aren't already hyped up about the new movie (which is released on the 25th of July), the ingenious folks over at Warner Brothers have been teasing fanboys with an elaborate network of websites for months now. For a full list, and an idea of how insanely meticulous this whole thing is- keep reading.

Here's a complete list of all known viral sites so far- some are more elaborate than others, and most have clues or links that have directed people to other viral sites. As far as I can tell, all email addresses and phone numbers quoted are legitimate. Give em a shot and see what happens....

Why So Serious?
The Gotham Times
The Ha Ha Times
I Believe In Harvey Dent
I Believe In Harvey Dent Too (try highlighting the page)
The Clown Travel Agency
We Are The Answer
Concerned Citizens For A Better Gotham
Citizens For Batman
Maiden Avenue Report
Gotham Cable News
Gotham Police
Gotham PD Internal Affairs Department
Gotham PD Major Crimes Unit
Gotham National Bank
Gotham City Rail
Acme Security Systems
Gotham Victims Advocate Foundation
Joker's Vault
A Taste for The Theatrical
Gotham Election Board
Dana Worthington
Trust Garcetti
Saint Swithuns Church
Gotham Cabs
Joseph Candoloro
Kinsly Travel
Remembering Gina
Gotham Ferries
Gotham City Clerk
Betty's House of Pies
Rossi's Deli & Grill

The websites are pretty cool as is, but the best thing about this viral campaign is that it's spilled out into reality too.

For example, when people who submitted photos of themselves in Joker make-up to the Joker himself via Rory's Death Kiss were rewarded with 25 copies of The Gotham Times in the post (pics here).

On December 3rd, a list of locations showed up on whysoserious.com with instructions to show up and identify yourself as 'Robin Banks'. The locations were all bakeries, and the first to show up at each one was given a cake with 'Call Me Now!' and a phone number written on it (see pics below). Inside the cakes were Gotham P.D. evidence bags containing a note, a mobile phone with charger & a joker playing card. Calling the number got you through to Rent-a-clown, and a message told callers to await further instructions.

On April Fools day, clowntravelagency.com was updated with a similar list of locations. This time the first to get there got a case containing a phone, charger, playing card, note and bizarrely, a bowling ball.

The sites and the clues keep popping up- the latest being the message from the Joker pictured below. Follow his instructions and check it out.

If this isn't the single greatest work of advertising genius of all time, then I shall find a hat and eat it. Lets just hope the movie lives up to all this hype...

Thanks to Rope Of Silicon for help on the epic list of sites, and Firstshowing.net & Empire Online for info & pics.

One last timewaster- Click here to see if you're Joker henchman material.

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