“So to stand out, “The Dark Knight’s” alternate reality game (ARG for short) is mashing up advertising, scavenger-hunting and role-playing in a manner that variously recalls “The X-Files” and the play “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” “The Matrix” and the board game Clue — all in the name of galvanizing a community of fans to bond (with the new Batman and each other) over the course of a wild goose chase.
Or to be more precise, a wild Joker chase — one that so far has involved clues spelled out in skywriting, secret meeting points, cellphones embedded inside cakes, Internet red herrings, DIY fan contests and even fake political rallies. Moreover, last week several players were nearly arrested in Chicago while engaging in civil disobedience to promote the movie; others have even been “kidnapped” and “murdered” over the course of the game.”
What I love about this is that it has been going on for over a year and this is the first I’ve heard about it. Obviously, I am not a big (or even small) Batman fan and none of the marketing has therefore been targeted at me. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to pull me in.
This is for the super-fan and by providing something special just for them it can justify their remaining and super-far. At the end of the day, it is the super-fans that can push a movie over the top.
Though I’m not sure Batman was going to suffer a huge hit at the box office without a cool ARG, it is totally cool and exciting.