Harvey Dent's Viral Marketing Campaign Spreads Across the Nation
by Alex Billington
March 23, 2008
Yesterday I caught up with the Dentmobile tour in my local city (yes that's me on top of the van) and followed it around until a snow storm hit and shut us down. We've been following the viral campaign for The Dark Knight quite closely and this weekend was the last time the Dentmobile hit the streets. There is one thing I'm amazed at - the lack of actual coverage this campaign is getting! We've already mentioned it before, but there is a lot going on out there that we don't even know about. This is what happens when millions of die hard fans rally in support of a movie and a brilliantly conceived viral marketing campaign.
After signing up on the ibelieveinharveydent.com website last month, everyone got a phone call from Harvey Dent on around March 8th (you can read more about that here). After that a national tour campaign launched in 34 cities and over the last week a white van has been driving around rallying the citizens of Gotham City in order to campaign for Harvey Dent for District Attorney. The turn outs have been incredible and this is where documentation begins to falter. It's supposed to be grass roots - it's not supposed to be that well documented. Well screw that, you've got to see some of these videos!
Anyone can submit photos or videos of their crowds (or themselves) on the website here. You need to do this to become a registered voter in order to be able to vote in the election that is supposedly taking place closer to the movie's opening in July (read more about that here). Below are some of the better videos that we've found that you need to watch in order to understand the kind of presence that Harvey Dent's supporters have made for themselves.
Philadelphia, PA - Dent Wins Back Philly:
[flv:harveydent-philly.flv 320 240]
New York, NY - 5th Avenue Rally:
[flv:harveydent-newyork.flv 320 240]
Chicago, IL - Harvey's Rush Hour Rally:
[flv:harveydent-chicago.flv 320 240]
Denver, CO - Harvey Makes 9 News:
[flv:harveydent-denver.flv 320 240]
Now here's where this all gets exciting. Each city had 3 individual locations that the Dentmobile went to and a number of cities even had multiple dates. So with simple math, that means there were over 110+ individual rallies taking place in over 34 cities across the US in the last 10 days. Look at the videos like those above and imagine that taking place over 100 times around the US. It's not a huge impact, but it is pretty damn awesome for a viral campaign that is being powered 100% by its fans. All you need to do is give them some graphics and some encouragement and they'll work for you!
While I'm not exactly sure this is the most effective campaign, I do have a good feeling that it's only going to help eventually solidify The Dark Knight's chances for top box office earner of 2008. Too many people don't know who or what Harvey Dent is and the crowds aren't able to tell them, which causes confusion. But then again, thousands of people who otherwise didn't know anything about this movie now, 4 months out, are familiar with one of the coolest marketing campaigns to ever hit the streets. As I said, not initially effective, but an overall poignant move in the grand scheme of TDK's marketing.
You can be certain we'll be following all of TDK's viral marketing all the way through its opening on July 18th. Until we hit the next phase, make sure to spread the word and tell all of you friends about Harvey Dent. If you missed your chance to pick up some Dent swag, sorry but it's time to move on. Though I'm sure you can find some on Ebay. Until Election Day this June, keep believing in Harvey Dent!
Update: Our friends over at SlashFilm found some protesters - see photo above. These three clowns showed up at a Harvey Dent rally in Ann Arbor, MI. Apparently everyone does NOT believe in Harvey Dent after all. Though I wouldn't be too worried about more "jokers" like this showing up and ruining any Harvey Dent rallies you're participating in. Stay tuned - we'll bring you more updates from the streets the moment we hear anything!