Persona on top of fan marketing — Analysis of Campaign of The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan, is universally considered to be one of the best examples of marketing within the film industry. It accomplished more than1 billion dollars in box office, with only a budget of 230 million dollars. What makes The Dark Knight Rises’ marketing campaign different from other campaigns is its viral marketing campaign.

The campaign brings the story into the real world and attracts the fans to involve and interact. It can be termed as an alternative reality game (ARG), which is a game-like narrative played both off and online, which uses multiple modes of mediation to immerse the player in the game’s narrative.

Before releases,the ‘CIA documents’ , which focus on a Russian nuclear physicist named Dr. Leonid Pavel. were posted on Empire and Wired. These were later shown to be plot elements of the six-minute prologue.It completely aroused the audience’s curiosity and makes them feel part of the movie.

Christopher Nolan is a genius in storytelling, who leaks out the story little by little at the proper time in the light of what happens in the third movie. It has proven to be effective for such a movie with a strong fan base because the people who were engaged in the game became a community and started sharing clues and ideas with each other.

For another, The Dark Knight Rises’ marketing campaign takes good advantage of viral marketing and cross media convergence. Viral promotions can be delivered via videos, software, text messages, images, and flash games. It can also be realized through self-replicating viral processes such as the pre-existing social networks on the Internet.

The third trailer of The Dark Knight Rises was supposed to be a brilliant way to get fans in a tizzy, which could only be unlocked until fans gathered all the Batman graffiti that has been placed across the world for people to look out. ‘Fans can unlock still frames from the third trailer by submitting via Twitter or by email photographic evidence of graffiti related to any movement in support of the vigilante’s return.

The campaign also includes many partnerships with many brands and products (e.g. Mars, the Tumbler app, etc.) for promotion. For example, a video game named The Dark Knight Rise was released on the same day as the release of the film for the iOS and Android devices. Besides, one who purchases the brand’s product could win free film tickets.

Overall, the good story was necessary for The Dark Knight Rise to be a blockbuster movie, but the viral marketing strategy made it. The distribution of a film includes, the release strategy and the marketing strategy together bring the breakthrough in film marketing industry.

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