So I found this story/video-blog on FirstShowing.net about a viral campaign for the new Tron movie Tron Legacy. Watch the video to hear the story of the campaign. Basically what happened was in an attempt to get people into the sequel for the film, fans were sent on a scavenger hunt across different media to find secret clues that eventually led them to special screenings across the country of a trailer for the film. The scavenger hunt had fans going on to different websites, play video games, go to actual locations where mysterious men handed out cell phones, and fans ended up watching an online clock countdown until 8am when they had the option to sign up for a screening. The whole thing was very mysterious and required a lot of faith and commitment from fans to even end up at the screening. In the end it sounded like some fans were expecting to see much more than approximately 2 minutes of footage.
This story was very intriguing to me was the way in which this viral campaign crossed several different media. This attempt at advertising the movie would only tap into a market of people who are active in several different media (i.e. internet blogging, video gaming, film watching etc.) It made me think of our recent discussion about how much of what gets posted on the web is not meant for everybody, because this is a specific example of only one specific type of fan being affected by the campaign. It really makes me wonder why the studio or the production company or whoever is in charge of this marketing would go through so much effort for just such a small number of fans. How can making this select group go through so much effort to see a trailer help get millions of tickets get sold when the film actually comes out 10 months from now? My only thinking is that film bloggers will talk about the experience (like the way in which I heard the story) and word of the movie will slowly trickle down to all kinds of fans. Anyway, let me know via comments if you guys have any thoughts or similar experiences with viral marketing.