Sherlock Holmes Viral Has Been Around Since Comic-Con?
by Alex Billington
August 22, 2009
A few days ago we ran an article looking at a new viral marketing game for Sherlock Holmes. I wrote that "Warner Brothers has kicked off their viral" with a website located at 18.104.22.168 that essentially was a glorified sign-up form. It turns out, thanks to some updates from our good friends at MovieViral.com and Unfiction, that this viral has actually been around since Comic-Con, remarkably. It looks like Warner Bros' attempt to kick it off at the Con failed. The only reason its gaining traction now is because @wbpictures tweeted it out and I was told by others to check it out. Oh and some other websites got cards in the mail.
That IP address was actually discovered via two uniques cards that were given out at Comic-Con. From the Unfiction forums: "At Comic-Con - I picked up from the WB booth two cards. Immediately I noticed they should be put together. Quickly noted the phrase that becomes visible, and highlighted letters, and odd numbers on the card faces." As seen above, the cards gave us everything we needed - the IP address, the password (five letters were highlighted in the words), and a phrase for ordering the numbers. The cards together stated: "Widen your gaze Mr. Holmes." It was simple and was all discovered four weeks ago.
For those actually interested in the viral, more details have been uncovered regarding the statement the hooded man makes when you type in "IRENE" as the password. The phrase he says comes directly from a book called "Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual" By Éliphas Lévi (GoogleBooks). They key is that there are four specific "words" that one must master: "To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence." They are also known as the Four Powers of the Sphinx or the Witch's Pyramid, which you must work towards to become a witch. "You cannot achieve the fifth goal if you do not master the first four."
We've heard, through previous interviews with Mark Strong, who plays the villain in the movie, that Lord Blackwood dabbles in the occult and that there will be some supernatural elements (e.g witches) Either this viral is leading us towards following the villain's path or they're using Holmes' name to try to lure him in and capture him (and his followers - us). If you're interested, I suggest you sign-up on the site to follow it. Virals are often hit or miss, and this has been a big miss so far. Maybe they need to start involving some of the websites who actually care about virals, like us or MovieViral.com. Anyway, stay tuned for updates!
Update: I should've checked my mail! I received my own two Sherlock Holmes cards in the mail straight from London today as well. I took a quick snapshot which you can see below. They came in a handwritten envelope postmarked from London but without any return address or anything else. The plot thickens!