So…I followed the online marketing for the theatrical release of Superman Returns in 2006 somewhat closely. It blew my mind at the time that a film that was in the midst of being billed the most expensive movie of all time had nothing more than a static logo/crest for its web site. (Links are all sourced from the Wayback machine to present them as they were at the time). Even just 6 months from the film’s release, it relied on a mailing list signup form, a movabletype blog of generic updates (“American Latina” site updated!), and the work of a popular fansite, BlueTights.net. Even one month before the movie’s release, the page’s crest had been merely augmented by an assortment of downloadable wallpapers and icons as part of it’s ‘webmaster program’, all in a format that looked like it was designed in 1999. The goal seemed to be to provide an assortment of average- to below-average quality imagery for other webmasters to use on their fan pages – essentially passing the marketing buck. I’m not sure if it was well intentioned, or simply the result of a studio that failed to grasp the importance of the online sphere for marketing such a movie to an important audience (read: nerds).
So, I’ve happened across what seems to be the first online push for the upcoming Man of Steel movie. WB is attempting to piggyback off of the expected buzz surrounding its just-in-time-for-xmas release of The Dark Knight Rises on BluRay. If enough people share the interactive object online, some sort of secret will be revealed. Ooooh.
The counter seems surprisingly ready to reach 100% on the day the BluRays are released anyway.
Now, its one thing to try to generate interest and buzz in this way, but it’s another to make the process lack transparency – and thus lack credibility. With the number seemingly arbitrary (How many shares per percentage point?) and the values only calculated server-side, it does little to assure fans that the object is nothing more than a pre-timed marketing ploy.
Alas, here’s the object:
Well, half of it. The embed doesn’t let me change the frame size. It’s not as though people will have different size limitations in displaying WB’s marketing for them…Right?
I hope that this really isn’t representative of the forthcoming marketing campaign…
Oh, the full image (as I expect that absurd iframe to be replaced with something shortly..)