Thoughts on the Bane Campaign


Well, the first of the viral marketing for “The Dark Knight Rises” is behind us. I thought it was extremely well done and very successful, but it was not without its faults. Let’s first talk about what worked.

I have to credit the advertisers (who, at this point, I still don’t know who they are. Is it still 42 Entertainment (www.42entertainment.com), who did the advertising for “The Dark Knight”?) that came up with this campaign. They left a lot of things up to chance. What if no one downloaded the audio loop of the people chanting and then ran it through an audio analyzer? What if no one then switched modes to see the hashtag? What if that same person wasn’t on Twitter and didn’t know what a hashtag was? The advertisers certainly put a lot of faith in their audience – something that really blew me away. They trusted Batman fans enough to leave certain parts of the campaign in our hands, which makes us feel as though we are part of the marketing of this movie as well.

It was also very cool that they made people’s Twitter profile pictures part of the mosaic. I know that I couldn’t find my picture, but I will forever remember that I was part of an official event for “The Dark Knight Rises.” Pretty cool. Even Jett, the creator and writer of my favorite Batman website (www.batman-on-film.com) was part of the event, as the picture below shows you where his face is in the mosaic:

In my previous post, I posted a picture of someone writing in Portuguese. As I was looking for my own profile pic, I came across people writing in French, Italian, Spanish – people from all over the world and all different walks of life. That really was the thing that struck me the most about this campaign – the worldwide-ness of it. It truly connected people across the world who all had a shared interest – their love for Batman.

That being said, there were two things that I thought didn’t work well for this particular campaign. First of all – I still have not been able to find my Twitter profile pic! The only way I know how to find it is to move my mouse methodically over every inch of the picture, hoping that I will find mine. But if you go to the website now, you can see the mosaic for about five seconds, and then the individual pictures fade away to the better quality version of Bane. So if I really wanted to find my picture, I have five seconds to search and then I have to hit reload and look again. Very frustrating. How difficult would it have been for them to add some way to search for your picture by typing in your Twitter name? The fact that I still can’t find my picture removes me from the feeling that I was an integral part of this campaign. To me, if they would have this search function, I would feel 100% part of it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Furthermore, before the mosaic was completely finished, the full picture was posted on Facebook. Why was that allowed to happen? Even though it was easy to tell what the picture was at a certain point, they still should have waited for the mosaic to be completed before releasing the official picture. Again, that took me out of the fun of the event and reminded me that it was just a clever marketing technique.

I know that those two things might seem like minor gripes, but if they would have been addressed, we could have been dealing with a truly immerse advertising experience. Don’t get me wrong, I thought this was a fantastic campaign. This definitely bodes well for what we have in store for the next 14 months. Now let’s see that first Catwoman picture!!!

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