There Is a New Viral Marketing Website for 'The Batman' to Follow
by Alex Billington
December 21, 2021
"Have you ever been to the Iceberg Lounge?" There's a new viral website for Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman movie, discovered by fans a week ago. And while there is one file hidden on the site, not much is there yet. But this is exciting news. Most will remember the viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight (called "Why So Serious?"), as it's highly regarded as the best Hollywood viral campaign ever. Might this be an early hint that they're preparing something like this again for the next Batman? Who knows. The site was discovered by deciphering code hidden on a new cardboard standee for the movie that appeared in a movie theater recently. Surprise, surprise. If you look closely, there's coded text written on the bottom left corner (photo below). Once deciphered, fans discovered that it points to a new website - which looks like a basic terminal for a server and includes a text prompt with green text. Answer a few questions, or rather, answer a few riddles (ha ha ha) and you'll be given a "reward" - a jpg image with three GCPD sketches of The Batman.
It's clear that the viral marketing for this next Batman movie will focus on The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, and his riddles as clues. So far he hasn't actually appeared in any of the trailers, aside from tricky shots that don't really show his face. And clues on letters that he leaves for Batman to find (we wrote about one last year). I didn't even know about any of this until a tip to check out this post on ARGNet's website. There they explain how fans deciphered the original text on the standee (seen below via Twitter), as well as additional details about the clues on the website and one extra image found on there (that also needed to be deciphered). Usually they hide some code in the trailer, but it's a bit of a twist to see some text hidden on an actual standee - meaning fans could only find this by going to their local movie theater and looking closely at The Batman marketing materials. You can even see how one fan figured out the original cipher right here.
This text found on the bottom has been unscrambled and decoded - and it spells out YOU ARE EL RATA ALADA. El Rata Alada translates to "winged rat" which is, uh, a funny way to described The Batman. If you then visit the website rataalada.com you'll discover the first (of hopefully many) official viral website for Reeves' The Batman. All the Warner Bros legal links at the bottom confirm it is real. And if you try to dig through the site's source code, you'll only find this funny message: "Nice try. You won't find anything here." The site itself is fairly straightforward - after booting up with a ? in green, it shows some text and asks you to answer questions. Once you answer The Riddler's three riddles, you'll be given a reward. And when you return to the website, it remembers "where you were" in the process - either in the middle of figuring out the riddles, or after solving them, when it instead says "That's all I have for now. I'll be back with more soon, just stay vigilant." You can click on the image below to visit the website + bookmark it for future reference:
Aside from figuring out this one particular website, not much else has been discovered - so far. The final reward is just another Riddler question mark image that can be deciphered and it also says "Stay vigilant." There's also a recent tweet from Matt Reeves to check out, and a follow-up gif from DC that help add more letters to the cipher for future games that will be a part of this viral. And to help fans decipher messages and clues hidden around various places. But that's all for now. What's next? It's anybody's guess, as this is the first time we've seen a full-on viral marketing ARG in quite a long time. There have been a few recent viral websites, but they don't ever lead to much or include special reveals like this. Everything about this website so far reminds me a lot of 42 Entertainment's The Dark Knight viral campaign, including the reveal of basic "assets" like the GCPD sketches after working through the clues. We'll be following this closely - stay tuned.
For more updates, follow The Batman on Twitter @TheBatman or IG @thebatman, or head to his website.
A billionaire socialite and heir of Wayne Enterprises who dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a masked vigilante. Set early on after Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham. The Batman is directed by acclaimed American filmmaker Matt Reeves, the director of the movies The Pallbearer, Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes previously. The screenplay is written by Matt Reeves and Mattson Tomlin; based on the character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Produced by Dylan Clark and Matt Reeves. Warner Bros will release Reeves' The Batman in theaters everywhere starting on March 4th, 2022 coming soon. Watch the second trailer here.
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