I have no Title

Chris is always telling us to blog about what we’d like to work on so here it is. I just can’t get enough of the film and TV online campaigns that have been put together over the last few years. The way they managed to suck people in make people completely invested just astounds me.

The first one to do it was probably Blair Witch project which managed to make up for the fact that it was shockingly awful by convincing a few people it was real.

In film the first campaign to really grab attention was Cloverfield. Cloverfield simply had strange snippets of handycamcloverfield video featuring flailing monster legs and scared people popping up in random places. The videos featured clues that when googled took you to dummy sites for security firms and government reports about some massive catastrophe.

The Dark Knight did it best though: It’s online campaign began well over a year before the film’s release when The Joker started leaving clues on message boards. The clues led to websites letting you snitch on your neighbour, enroll in the police force or even join the Joker’s gang of clowns. People who joined the police force got invited to online press conferences by Harvey Dent (off of the film), the Jokers gang were sent out onto the streets to cause havoc.

The film’s poster was revealed to a select few online who cracked the joker’s riddles and eventually bad guys and cops alike were sent out on to the streets of major cities following the Joker’s clues to find the prize (apparently posters signed by the cast) or support Harvey Dent at campaign rallies.The-Joker

thousands of people wasted hours following the trails and film magazines reported every development. Chatter was massive as people tried to work out what clues were in the Gotham Times. I doubt more than a half a dozen people went chasing around London for the Jokers prize but the beauty of the campaign was the investment created by the film and the spread of chatter as people blogged, twittered and Face booked their findings. It was impossible to spend more than 5 minutes on a film site without seeing a mention of the Dark Knight and being drawn in to the puzzles.

This is a bit long so I’ll stop now but Honourable mention should also go to Lost, it’s online game during season one brilliantly convinced us the writers had a clue and Mad Men. Every Mad Men character seems to be on Twitter: they Twitter regularly, they interact with real people and each other, never breaking character (they are all very hopeful about Nixon.) and their Tweets are usually genuinely interesting, follow @Betty_Draper if you really want your day pulling down.

I’m posting this because a new online campaign just started off for a film due out next year which I’m pretty sure I’m going to blog about.

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product placement mk 2

for about 6 seconds during I AM Legend while Will Smith wanders through an empty Times Square there’s a glimpse of a giant billboard poster advertising Batman Vs Superman. This sent the geek universe into a whirl with anticipation of this film and License! global even pointed it out as a big branding opportunity of 2009. The film wasn’t real but a reference to a failed idea from 2002 and ain’t it cool news was infinitely dissapointed.

Seems Jerry Bruckheimer (the money magnet who made Pirates of the Caribbean) was taking notes because Empire is reporting he’s about to unveil the poster for summer Blockbuster/ Jake Gylenhaal vehicle Prince of Persia in the background of the more imminent Confessions of a Shopaholic. I don’t really get how the two demographics crossover, ones a Sex and the City clone (albeit one starring the amazing Isla Fisher) the other is a computer game adaptation, I’d say it was appealing to the boyfriends dragged to see Confessions but I’m not sure the type of people who look forward to computer game movies often have girlfriends.

Either way the idea has grabbed column inches so clearly it was a good one and I reckon it’ll lead to more films advertising films or TV, (Heroes posters in Watchmen anyone?)

Be Original

I’ve noticed a recent trend in advertising which I really want to have a little rant about, so bare with me.

In the last 2 months three different adverts have begun showing which blatantly, shamelessly rip off music videos.

First we had this:

The Berocca Advert ‘with the treadmills’ a bit like:

the OK GO music video with the treadmills.

That I could forgive, the song wasn’t a massive hit so most people won’t have seen it and clearly someone the ad agency had seen the video when it went viral.

but now Mazda are ripping off the White Stripe’s Seven nation army video:

and T-Mobile have made something akin to Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’

Have to give T-mobile credit though, the slow supersizing of the dance troupe is pretty cool.

Yes your marketing needs to imaginative and cool if it’s going to have any pronounced effect anymore and achieve that holy grail of modern advertising, going viral. Yes music videos have a knack for the original (they have to because we aren’t forced to watch them) but ripping off an already popular concept will get you no where. It just makes me write annoying ranty blogs.

monologue done, actual post on it’s way, honest.

the obligatory 2009 prediction post

It’s the beginning of the new year and so like everyone else I feel compelled to tell you what’s going to happen next so here are my predictions for the year:

Music

I’m usually pretty good at the music, last year I called the Ting Tings (after two years of trying to work out who sung that song about being called Stacey) and Duffy (who severely dissapointed me with her album) however I said Vampire Weekend would never go any where and they were easily the best of the year. I think I objected to the name more than the band.

Every year the BBC puts together it’s hot in 2009 list, decides a winner then plays them over and over again on Radio one to make sure they were right.

My favourite off that list is undoubtedly VV Brown the ‘Doo wop’ singer, one listen to ‘Crying Blood’ and you’ll be jiving like Chris Norton at a wedding and singing it non stop

also on that list this year are Empire of the Sun, who I’ve been hearing here and there for a while and think they could follow in MGMT’s foot steps

One act who seems inevitable to become massive and drive me to distraction on a daily basis is Lady Gaga, I’m not putting in a video because I don’t want to encourage her.

My wild card picks for the year are The Asteroids Galaxy Tour who you’ll recognise from the I-Pod adverts

And I’d love to see Laura Marling get some recognition, she put out the best album of last year and no one noticed because they were too busy listening to Duffy’s all filler no killer offering.

 

Live Music

There’s only one gig this year and that is the Blur reunion, I’ll be there. ’nuff said

Film

Can’t wait for Watchmen, judging by the book it’ll be The Wire with superheroes

 

Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (yes thats how its spelt) is going to be incredible; it took about 5 years to write, was bought on the day it was finished and began production 5 weeks later (most take months, even years to get to that stage). Plus it’s has the best cast Tarantino has ever had and is undoubtedly the only war film ever to feature a film buff sniper (that’s a sniper that is a film buff not a sniper that kills film buffs.).

Micheal Mann’s new film, Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale going all Bonnie and Clyde and should be good.

If we’re really lucky there’ll be an Arrested Development movie at the end of the year, I can’t imagine anything better than two hours of Arrested Development

I think this will be a big year for Mary Elizabeth Winstead (most notable for being in Death Proof) and Evan Rachel Wood who’ll hit it big off the back of The Wrestler.

Television

Look out for the Dollshouse which should fill a Buffy shaped void

Dexter season 2 just started on ITV, Dexter is one of the best shows on TV and the second season shouldn’t be missed (unless you’re watching season 3 on FX later this year.)

90210, the remake of Beverly Hills should make for some quality trash viewing

Kings, if it ever makes it to the UK looks pretty cool

FX keep promising to show Generation Kill, an Iraq drama from the guy behind The Wire which means it is entirely possible it will be the best show ever.

Will Ferrell’s new show East Bound and down looks awesome

Though the premiss isn’t great Cupid is being made by a personal hero so I’ll definately be looking at that.

In the returning TV category I’ll be geeking it up with the end of Battlestar Galactica (another contender for best show ever), Damages is good for some highbrow drama, Flight of the Conchords will be deservardly big in 2009, I guarantee it, Chuck should be good and Rock of Love is the most brilliantly trashy TV ever created.

(sorry for the rubbishy formatting but I’m yet to find a blog writer for the mac I can work)