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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG224
Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 2007-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Warner Brothers
Industry : Entertainment
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"The Dark Knight's multifaceted promo push transcends marketing to exist as a stand-alone cultural event. This is looked upon as viral marketing, but you have to look at it as an engrossing experience - you have people getting very attached to the game. You're not a passive onlooker; you're taking an active role. And any time you take an active role, you're emotionally connecting. That's why people keep coming back: You make personal connections with others, and a community gets built."1

- Jonathan Waite, Founder of the Alternate Reality Gaming Network, in March 2008.

"The Dark Knight is the golden standard of viral. Sure it can be hard, but if you can create a campaign that was even half as good as the one for TDK (The Dark Knight), you did your job and you did it right."2

- Matt, Author on, in June 2009.


On March 15, 2009, the SXSW Web Awards3 were presented. They were presented in 18 different categories4 and were given in recognition of the best new or redesigned websites and the people who initiated new online trends.

In the Games Category, 'Why So Serious? The Dark Knight' alternative reality game (ARG) bagged the award. Earlier, in December 2008, The Dark Knight campaign had won the .net award5 for the 'Best Viral campaign'. The winners were selected by a panel consisting of experts from Yahoo!, New York Times, Microsoft and Adobe.

Warner Brothers' Viral Marketing Strategy - The 'Dark Knight' Campaign - Next Page>>

1] Chris Lee, "Interactive Movie-Marketing Stirs Interest in 'Dark Knight'," Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2008.
2] "Has the Dark Knight's ARG Set the Bar Too High?", June 04, 2009.
3] SXSW refers to South by Southwest, which is a series of film, music festivals and conferences that take place in Texas every Spring. The conference also has a section relating to Web and new media technologies.
4] The categories included activism, amusement, art, blog, business, CSS, classic, community, educational resource, experimental, Film/TV, games, mobile, motion graphics, music, personal portfolio, student and technical achievement.
5] . net awards are Europe's longest running web awards. In these awards, the readers of .net magazine vote for the best of Internet across 16 different categories.


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