Inspiration: ‘Why So Serious’ Viral Campaign

The creation of media products has always been something that has greatly interested me to the point where I find myself subconsciously analysing media, such as advertisements, in day to day life. From clever social media movements to 3D films, I strive to understand the reasoning behind every detail that attracts certain audiences.

In May 2007, 42 Entertainment initiated a viral marketing campaign ‘Why So Serious?’ for the film ‘The Dark Knight’ that included hundreds of web pages, interactive games, mobile phones, print, emails and videos with over 10 million participants in over 75 countries. A campaign that can achieve the objective of turning a film into an event, with a fully engaged online community almost a year before the release is evidence of the development of media platforms.

The campaign kept the fans enthusiastic and energised for the release almost fifteen months beforehand and furthermore encouraged them to take it upon themselves to promote the film to others amongst social networks. It is clear that institutions are beginning to use platforms to further advertise through audience reaction and interaction with one and another, additionally creating a form of advertising.

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The viral campaign to promote ‘The Dark Knight’ has been an inspiration of mine throughout my time working with web design. This is as I found the interactivity with the audience to be creative, absorbing and thought provoking. I hope to achieve this throughout my degree in my own work as I develop the skills and knowledge to accomplish this. I have certainly used features from this campaign in my own work such as the use of hyper reality, in a website brief in which I was asked to promote a zombie apocalypse website. The user was given the power of choice regarding if the actor was to be killed or not.

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