VIRAL NEWS

It's All Part of the Plan - Joker's Nationwide Trailer Hunt!

by
April 28, 2008

It's All Part of the Plan - Joker's Nationwide Trailer Hunt!

We announced it last Friday - the next phase of the on-going viral marketing game for The Dark Knight has kicked off today at whysoserious.com/itsallpartoftheplan/. Twelve different groups around the world met up and went on a hunt throughout the city, counting trees and stairs, to unlock a safe online and eventually see the new trailer in the theater. You can find out more information on the viral game below. The clues on the site involved following three steps: each one would end up with a number. All three of these numbers would open a safe on the website after 30 minutes which would provide them the final clue and lead them to the movie theater.

It's All Part of the Plan

At this point, around six of the cities have finished. You can check whysoserious.com/itsallpartoftheplan/ to see the clues for each city. The reports from the SuperHeroHype forums are that after unlocking the last clue in the safe, the group meets up with a Joker rep who gives everyone Joker cards and a raffle ticket. Following that, everyone is taken inside the theater, shown the trailer, and copies of the trailer (actual 35mm prints) are raffled away to a select few random winners. These are the reports we've currently heard and we will update it when we hear more! A list of known combos is included below.

Boston: 43-26-76
Los Angeles: 41-44-98
Philadelphia: 26-16-06
Chicago: 98-20-49
Dallas: 86-56-01
Seattle: 65-42-60
New York: 33-80-89
Kansas City: 74-35-76
Toronto: 32-60-68
San Francisco: 76-36-42
London: 35-90-48
Sao Paulo: ?

We expect the trailer to be unlocked somewhere online by the end of the hunt tonight - so stay tuned. Not all of the cities have begun yet, including San Francisco and Los Angeles on the west coast. Currently the letter J, which people are guessing is just Joker's signature, is the only thing that is attached to the letters found within each of the safes. We'll let you know what we hear or what we find out! All of the photos at the top and bottom are from the Kansas City hunt.

UPDATE! So after discovering a key in the San Francisco safe (you can see it here), another anagram was discovered based on one letter for each safe. The anagram solved spelled out a new website located here: whysoserious.com/sittingducks/. Here's where things got confusing - nothing you do really allows you to win this shooting game. So after some keen observations, it was discovered that the ducks are actually binary and spell out another coded message that says to shoot them in a certain pattern to win. Where does this take you? To this new website: whysoserious.com/happytrails/.

It's All Part of the Plan

So I guess I was wrong. Everything I heard and everything I'd seen had me speculating that we'd get the trailer on Monday night, but apparently that wasn't the case. Instead, we'll get the trailer next Sunday or Monday. At this moment, I'm really not sure what to expect: will the trailer show in front of Iron Man? I don't know anymore. Will it stay offline until Monday? Well you can watch a bootleg version on YouTube here.

Unfortunately that's all we've got and unfortunately everyone is going to see the crappy bootleg version because everyone needs to see it. 'Tis a shame, you all deserve to see this new trailer for the first time in pristine quality! Just hold out, it'll be online soon enough...

It's All Part of the Plan

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  • http://www.cinemablend.com Josh (cinemablend.com)
    Enjoy being a slavish tool of corporate greed folks. Alex tells me that's what real fandom has apparently been reduced to. I'm sure he's right. I remember the days when fandom used to mean being excited about seeing the next trailer or the next movie, not being excited about all the hoops some marketing nerd was going to put me through before he'd allow me to see the trailer, so that fans could be coerced into allowing themselves to used as free advertising. These are better times. I'm certain. Wandering town playing scavenger hunt for almost no reward shows how passionate you are.
  • Frame
    I'm too lazy for this. I'll wait till you guys post it up.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Playing the corporate game, Josh, is simply posting the same stuff over and over that studios release and NOT getting involved yourself. This is a marketing game, YES, but it is something designed by fans for fans. It's for people to really immerse themselves in the atmosphere of The Dark Knight - it's not simply a marketing gimmick and that's IT. Everyone is enjoying themselves at these viral games - obviously you are NOT. You'll see the trailer eventually. Why don't you turn off the internet until someone calls you. Because if you don't want to participate, you don't have to. In fact, you could just ignore this entirely and STILL get the trailer for its normal release. But if you really want to, if you really are a truly passionate fan, you can go participate in events like this and leave with a grin across your face.
  • http://www.cinemablend.com Josh (cinemablend.com)
    Shame on you Frame. According to the comment Alex left over on my site, thinking that way means "You're obviously not a fan anymore" or "you've just become a mindless drone". They probably won't let you see The Dark Knight at all with that attitude.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    No, he is just lazy... He's not saying this is stupid or pointless. And if he doesn't want to participate, it doesn't matter, he doesn't vocally complain about it. There are people who don't like this viral game, and that's fine, but it's not pointless - it has a point. You're just no longer part of that group that it's catering to (or were you ever Josh?).
  • Nettle
    Wow, this whole campaign is just amazing. I'm not quick enough for everything that goes on, but I love FS.net for covering it so well. Thank you!
  • http://www.cinemablend.com Josh (cinemablend.com)
    Alex... designed by fans??? What fans? Who are these fans designing this? You mean the people WB pays to design it who say they are fans? That doesn't count. They aren't doing this because they are fans, they are doing this to drum up buzz for The Dark Knight to get people to see it. You're right, I don't have to participate. I'm not participating. That doesn't mean other people can't participate. They're welcome to, and I'm going to let them know where to go if they want to. That doesn't mean I personally have to think it's a great idea. I had no idea I was required to like everything that The Dark Knight marketing people do. Since you're so immersed in this though, I will expect to see photos of you running around Denver in a Batman costume looking for clues, up on this site tomorrow. Have fun. I'm not stopping you. I meanwhile, will also be having fun... by not wasting my time. We can all have fun in our own way.
  • brian
    That's right, Josh...give it to 'em. This ridiculous viral marketing shows just how LITTLE people have to do with their time. Sure, it's fun to anticipate a movie and to see a new trailer, and you get to see like-minded people who enjoy what you also enjoy...oh, wait...maybe it isn't all that bad... I still think it sucks, but maybe that's why I'm not following it. I do wonder, though...how immersive is this? How much do people really feel they're a part of this world? This would make a decent book or lengthy magazine article on what people get out of this.
  • TCox
    Josh (#1) - Just out of curiousity...why are you on FirstShowing.net? I think maybe your site needs tending. I once was a loyal reader of that site until I realized how negative some of their writers were. They don't share your unaffected love for movies Alex. Unlike FirstShowing.net, some of their posters have to review and accept your comments before they're posted on the site. I was one of those they chose not to post, even though I didn't use any crude language or anything. It was simply a case of the writer not sharing my opinion of how ignorant they were about the subject they were discussing. Finding FirstShowing.net was a very welcome experience. Thanks Alex! Go home Josh.
  • bltzie
    Josh you can express your opinions freely and you could do it NOT trying to be a prick. We can have fun in our own way, doesn't mean that people are wasting THEIR time by participating in this, by not doing the same things you do. In fact let people be and stop wasting your time writing these THREE comments about something you don't even care.
  • TCox
    Alex - I love the viral marketing, and think it's brilliant how it's being handled. Even though I'm unable to go out a physically see a lot of the thinks taking place, I enjoy reading the posts. Even if I could go out and look for the locations, that doesn't mean I would, but I still thinks it great. Josh really seams to have a chip on his shoulder about the whole thing. I did enjoy reading your comments on his site (sorry I had to go there to check it out). For those who don't visit Cinemablend.com - Josh actually says "I’m much too busy and important to participate." What a dick.
  • I need codes
    Does anyone know the rest of the codes???
  • Coren
    Cry about it some more Josh. Waah waah, the viral marketing campaign beat me with a sock, boohoo. Get over yourself. No one is making anyone jump through any hoops - it's voluntary. All this stuff becomes available online in due time anyway, so why the bitch fest? As much as I would have liked to play the game tonight, I couldn't go. And yknow what? Without jumping through any hoops, I'll see the trailer anyway. PS Isn't commenting on this site wasting time? OH NOES
  • Brandon
    Has anyone seen the trailer yet, and does anyone know when it might be online. I am not in any of the featured cities, so I am unable to play the game.
  • Shaun C
    chicago 98-20-49 toranto 32-60-68 kansas 74-37-76 london 35-90-48 ny 33-80-89 boston 43-26-76 pilli 26-16-06
  • Zach
    Why does everyone on this site make a huge deal over a marketing campaign? Its world-wide just to advertise a movie among numerous viewers and Warner Bros just thought it would be fun to pull some excitement out of this by gathering a bunch of fans to become involved in something as they wait for the movies release to approach... essentially thats all there is to this and there's really no reason to contridict against an amazing idea for a movie marketing stradegy.
  • bltzie
    I NEED TRAILER! NOW!
  • Brandon
    I agree, need trailer
  • woogie
    cinemawhat.com? I'd never heard of that site until I read the whiny BS that Josh wrote. And guess what, I'm never going to that site now! GREAT JOB, GUY! As for the viral campaign, I'm loving it. I haven't been able to participate but the creativity is amazing. Cloverfield was good but this is at a whole new level. Keep up the great coverage, Alex and the rest of the FS.net team. FS.net is the only movie site I recommend to my friends and they can't stop raving about it. Can't wait 'til this trailer is released...
  • Different Josh
    Josh obviously doesn't understand us comic book fanboys. We love this stuff, and seeing though a large number of us consider the previous film to be the greatest superhero movie to date, we're especially excited for this one. We're suckers for the full experience, and that means the marketing, the toys, everything. It's part of the lifestyle. If you don't understand that, it's okay. We didn't ask you to try.
  • javi
    The San Fransisco vault has two papers in it. 26 spots with nine J's filling some of the spots. There are a total of 12 pictures and vaults, each with one J. That would leave 14 empty spots...Is there something we are missing?
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    No, the grid corresponds to letters I think... But there are multiples - like two safes with the same colored of J for the same letter repeated in the anagram.
  • Brad
    Well, I never got the codes for Dallas because WB apparently did not let Northpark Mall Security and the Dallas PD in on the stunt. As I hear it from an AMC Theater manager, the only information they were given was that WB reserved a theater for a "small group." Naturally, the staff assumed a small group of suits would show up. Needless to say, no one was truly prepared for what really happened. Imagine living in a post-9/11 world and finding a large crowd of clown-faced punks congregating in the parking lot at a high-end shopping center. When 5:30 PM rolled around and the ungodly horde of mimes-from-hell invaded the mall, the boom was lowered and we were told to leave the premises and wait in the parking lot for someone to escort us to the movie theater. Locations where the clues were given were staked out and one clue was even covered up and guarded, confounding anyone who might try to see it. Anyway, we were finally escorted to the theater where everyone received a raffle ticket and a single joker playing card (each one unique). Before entering the theater, every cell phone and camera was confiscated to prevent recording the event. All of these were put into individual plastic bags and we were given claim tickets. No system was in place to redistribute the property after the screening so you can imagine the mayhem afterwards trying to retrieve your cell phone. All in all, this was a poorly executed and somewhat disappointing adventure in what has been an excellent viral campaign. But, we got in and saw the trailer which was pretty good. And one guy did win the raffle; he got a 35mm print of the trailer -- not on DVD, but an actual can of film! That was pretty cool and I must admit I was a bit envious. So, due to poor planning on WB's part, our adventure was tainted and no codes recieved. Was it worth going through all the crap just to see something that will no doubt be on the Internet tomorrow? Probably not. Hope the experience in other cities went better. P.S. RE: Josh -- Dude, blowing your unqualified elitist chunks all over a competitor's website in a vain effort to promote your own? Weak. Someone with your understanding of promotion clearly has no business making commentary on the marketing campaigns of others.
  • javi
    So each spot a J takes up corresponds to a letter? That is really interesting...that would mean that the letters we have so far are "C,D,G,I,K,O,T,U,V"' No clue what that means, or what order it could be put in to mean something...Need more clues (J's) and how to configure them...
  • ATG2040
    The trailer in the tin is not in dvd format. it is actually a reel of film. I just returned from the hunt in Chicago. The Trailer Rocked! We are all in for one hell of a movie!!
  • bltzie
    Shaun C, I think that's old. I'm quite sure I saw that a while back. Javi how can you tell that the letter so far are "C,D,G,I,K,O,T,U,V"?
  • Marko
    are folks who've seen it under non-disclosure agreements? i've been looking for a detailed description of it in the meantime before I see it. For me, it won't be ruined. The trailer is pure visual candy for me.
  • javi
    Yeah, that's old. You have to set your clock to a certain time and behind it is a note from Joker saying "see you soon". Sorry, nothing new there.
  • kevin f
    Shaun, the safe at the mausleum is part of an older viral. you have to set or computers clock to 7:38 am (i think) to open it.
  • http://www.youtube.com/nickgligor Shoemeister
  • javi
    I counted the spots on the grid, noting that each one corresponds to a letter in the alphabet. I'm not positive, but that's my hunch. Note, though, that there are J's that repeat (e.g. London and K.C. I believe are the same and so are some others, I'm having a hard time figuring which ones are identical because my windows wont stay open at the same time). So that would mean that some of those letters would be doubles, giving us more to work with...yet we still are missing the final J and perhaps the final letter...
  • javi
    http://www.whysoserious.com/sittingducks/... This is the code when it is all said and done, I couldn't get it before because I made a mistake with the letters...but this sucks because the site is a stupid shooting duck's game...damn it!
  • Stephen
  • kevin f
    how do you beat the duck game? is this one new?
  • http://www.cinemablend.com Josh (cinemablend.com)
    >>>TCox SAID: Just out of curiousity…why are you on FirstShowing.net? I think maybe your site needs tending. ---------------- Because Alex came to my site and decided he liked calling people who don't agree with him names. It seemed only fair that I come over here and address him, rather than hiding in the corner while he randomly insulted me on my site. ----------- >>>TCox SAID: I once was a loyal reader of that site until I realized how negative some of their writers were. They don't share your unaffected love for movies Alex. ---------- Sorry you left, but if you don't like our style that's certainly your right. I have no problem with that. That's really what Cinema Blend is about, different people with different opinions. While some sites simply blather on positively to pander to fans or pander to studio reps who will give them special treatment because they never say anything negative, we just say what's on our minds without any filter or fear. You don't have to like our style, that's cool. I respect that. Some people prefer a different style. -------- >>>bltzie: Josh you can express your opinions freely and you could do it NOT trying to be a prick. We can have fun in our own way, doesn't mean that people are wasting THEIR time by participating in this, by not doing the same things you do. ---------- I agree, and I've said it before. I think these campaigns are stupid and a waste of time, but that's MY opinion of them. If you want to enjoy them, go right ahead. You don't have to share my opinion, and I don't have to share yours. ------------ >>>>TCox: Josh really seams to have a chip on his shoulder about the whole thing. >>>>Coren Said: Get over yourself. No one is making anyone jump through any hoops - it's voluntary. ----------- Chip? Not really, as I said I only came over here at all because Alex came to my site first and used my comments section as a venue to call me names. Cinema Blend's regulars really couldn't care less about this Viral stuff, most of them feel the same way I do about it. I do think however that Viral marketing is a bad thing... especially if you're really a passionate fan. But I'll save outlining my reasons for that for my site. Maybe tomorrow. ------------- >>>>Brad : Dude, blowing your unqualified elitist chunks all over a competitor's website in a vain effort to promote your own? -------------- Again, talk to Alex. He did it first. I'm not here to promote myself, merely respond to him in the same way he chose to respond to me. Fair is fair sir. Good luck folks, enjoy the game. I look forward to enjoyed the trailer instead. Please don't think I'm dodging you if I don't respond further, I just have no plans to visit this site any further. As someone else pointed out above, I do have better things to do.
  • http://www.pdsys.org/blog/ Nicholas
    It really does seem like we have to wait until Sunday. Lame.
  • Vega Bro
    I went to the Seattle one. There were a lot of people dressed up (about half of upwards to 100 people) in Joker makeup. We got clues that we followed all within maybe a block or a block and a half of eachother. They were pretty simple. All had to do with counting or adding. Then we got led down a "dark alley" and this guy in a Joker mask gave us these really cool custom cards that all had something to do with the Joker (mine was an arm that extended from the bottom of the card with a sythe that has blood dripping from it) and every one had these spiral things on them. We got led up to a theater (AMC) that they shut down just for this event. Security was pretty tight. They made everyone give up their cell phones and cameras then they wanded us and we went in. The trailer had many clips in it from the other ones, but they kept a lot of it pretty new. It was really just an extention of the last one. There was a big helicopter shot of the building getting blown up (fucking awesome), there was an extention of the scene at the dinner party where Maggie Gyllenhall slaps the Joker where Harvey Dent was sitting down (seriously if they would have just lowered the camera a foot, you could have seen him in the last trailer), there was a lot of Joker (new and old) including some pretty good lines, there was a lot of Harvey Dent (but no Two-Face) and I dont really know anything about how the Batman story goes, but Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent seemed to have some sort of relationship. And at the end there was kind of a stupid joke, but what the hell it was a pretty good trailer. I wish they showed it twice. Anyway at the end they had a raffle and they gave away the film for the trailer and of corse someone who didnt really seem to care at all and was just with her boyfriend won it and I didnt.
  • TCox
    Alex - Please stay clear of Josh's site in the future. I'm sure your readers will appreciate it. Regardless of who said what first...he's kind of an asshole. Reading his last post made me like him even less.
  • TCox
    I have to admit...I really wish he would have had the nads to respond to my comment in #10 "Unlike FirstShowing.net, some of their posters have to review and accept your comments before they're posted on the site. I was one of those they chose not to post, even though I didn't use any crude language or anything. It was simply a case of the writer not sharing my opinion of how ignorant they were about the subject they were discussing." Oh well.
  • bltzie
    this is a fucking fraud, I invited friends and bought popcorn (not really). But man I feel...used. =(
  • Brad
    Josh, Busy and important people don't need to be REMINDED of how busy and important they are. Furthermore, they don't run around bragging about it; those that do usually aren't all that busy nor important and have plenty of time to write prolonged responses on blogs. Alex, Keep your nose in your own site and stop inciting animosity amongst your competitors. It's unprofessional and beneath you.
  • brian
    You know what I really want to see? When one of these clues lead these idiots who wear joker makeup down a dark alley and it's some frat dudes who like to beat up geek fanboys and the whole lot of the hundred of them get really scared and chased out of the alley and they trip over each other because they have joker masks on. But I would never advocate violence, so that would be bad. (It would just be kinda funny...everyone taking this so seriously.) You know, I convinced myself it wasn't so bad before, but now...reading all the comments bagging on Josh...everyone...GET A LIFE. #44 invited friends over and had popcorn? For a freakin' viral marketing scam? Oh, man...come on...
  • tw
    dear josh, LoLuMaD? Regards, Internets
  • Shaun C
    Only one to go: London: 35-90-48 New York: 33-80-89 Philadelphia: 26-16-06 Boston: 43-26-76 Toronto: 32-60-68 Chicago: 98-20-49 Dallas: 86-56-01 Kansas City: 74-35-76 Seattle: 65-42-60 Los Angeles: 41-44-98 San Francisco: 76-36-42 Sao Paulo:
  • Shaun C
  • Shaun C
    Sorry, but I have to ask one more time... Has anyone seen this site before. It is a giant safe. http://www.whysoserious.com/mausoleum/
  • bltzie
    brian #46 I invited friends and bought popcorn (not really) Did you read the NOT REALLY part oh and by the way fuck you! ;)
  • Shaun C
    Here is the website, but what now http://www.whysoserious.com/sittingducks/ Which ducks do you shoot?
  • http://www.farmhouse1983.com FARMHOUSE.
    i think josh is here cause he realizes his site pretty much sucks balls compared to this one. i don't think they're taking any applications right now, sorry.
  • Pickle
    I'll just wait for the movie!! Soooo much crap just for a trailer????...and peeps going at one another?? Not worth it!
  • Reza
    Alex, you're effing amazing with both your love of movies and your absolute dedication to this website. FirstShowing.net has really brought back what I loved about movies and the analysis is always top notch, the hype is always tempered, and the love is abounding. No doubt, you and your staff are the best at what you do. And your maturity level in not replying to Josh's incessant posting and crude attitude astounds me for someone running a blog. It's refreshing to see someone who doesn't need to reply to every dumb comment some fool makes. YOU ROCK!!!!
  • SMY
    For those of you who can't wait till Sunday to see the trailer.. and are fine with seeing a shitty camera phone quality video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqzL7Fc1gqM Enjoy.
  • http://www.pdsys.org/blog/ Nicholas
    Or here's a better version (YouTube recompresses it to crap): http://www.ifitsmovies.com/2008/04/29/first-look-new-dark-knight-trailer/
  • Jef
    Another youtube version...enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec00o46pOas
  • alison Scott
    http://a807.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/54/l_3072983d45e3eda7c5099d283c92abb6.jpg i didn't win it, but i got to carry it to the LA theater location. it was awesome.
  • OCP
    You guys rock thanks
  • bltzie
    I second that! thank you Alison, Jef, Nicholas and SMY
  • Alex
    I went to the Boston event that was held in the Boston Common and Public Garden. I was surprised at the amount of people that actually showed up since it was raining pretty hard that day. Probably a little over 100 people. We all had to meet up at the George Washington Statue in the Common and when the timer on the website hit zero, my oracle (my friend at home with internet access) started feeding me the clues and people were running around the park trying to find the clues. But basically everyone stayed together in one big group and copied what everyone else was doing. So we all quickly figured out what we had to do. Once we had the numbers for the code, we put them in the safe lock online and it told us the last thing we had to do. Then the members of the marketing team running the event showed up and gaves us all a Joker playing card with an ink stamp on them of some symbol. And they also gave us a raffle ticket. Then they chose one person from the crowd, gave him the trailer, we all escorted him the the Lowe's theater right across the street, showed our cards to get in, watched the trailer, and then watched myself lose the raffle to win the trailer in the film canister. Here are some pics of the event I took on my iPhone of the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metalhaze/sets/72157604791491352/
  • trigger119
    ha! That's from mine, the KC hunt. I participated in that one. Fun time.
  • Melissa
    And fangirls too! Don't forget us! The SF one was pretty fun. Although, I'll tell ya- the "we'll all follow one guy" got us the wrong number for the first clue. (duh) We met in Daly City at a park -there were three of us who wore our smiles- and were painted up, well, pretty. At 5:30 our various phones started ringing and off we went. We actually got stopped by a cop. Which was awesome. After getting sidetracked at a park, and searching for the "hands" to count -we made it to a set of bleachers where the goons handed out the Joker cards and raffle tickets. The trailer was great- it was a lot more Joker and Harvey Dent ;) It will be worth seeing on the screen, I haven't looked at the quality of the bootlegged ones..the reels handed out apparently have been defaced by the Joker. I know some people are working hard to get them online for everyone. Far be it from me to poke a troll with a stick, but come on Josh (Not Different Josh) why so serious? ;)
  • alison Scott
    in LA, the security at the outdoor mall thing was none too pleased to have a huge crowd, mostly in black, some in joker makeup, loitering in the courtyard. i think lots of people never got the correct numbers to open the safe, since the last number involved counting 98 stars in the pavement on hollywood blvd, with a bunch of tourists about. people just followed the few individuals that figured out the final clue, and that was it. very cool event, amazing trailer... some people are working on getting the reels that were raffled off digitized and uploaded.
  • Deidre
    I am a FanGIRL...I agree with Melissa, don't forget us, it's not just the BOYS (I am also amped for Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk) :) I am so psyched for this movie and am trying to keep up with all the viral promos, and WISHING i lived in a BIG city, then maybe I could really participate!!!! I guess I'll just do that by seeing the flick a half-dozen times, planned on it anyway!
  • http://www.drduvel.net Dr.Duvel
    The event itself looks great, but I gotta say, not releasing the trailer immediately after is the first wrong turn they've made with the virals. Its there, in glorious UToob, but I dont want to see the poor quality version, so I'm a waiting, but Can I wait ? why don't I just give in and watch the Tube? Because I'm stronger than that. No I'm not. I'm weak and I need my fix. Stay strong. See. Now this is just pissing me off. Release the bloody trailer already. Grrrr.

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