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The Dark Knight sets Social Web ablaze

Christopher Nolan the Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan

For the last few weeks the social web has been buzzing with references to the new sequel Dark Knight movie “The Dark Knight Rises” which is set to be released next summer.

This chatter was started by Christopher Nolan who has launched an exceptionally clever social media viral campaign called the “The Fires Rises” which consists of code cracking, mysterious video clips and strange chants — what else would expect you from the enigmatic Director who also brought us Inception.

The “The Fire Rises” challenges fans to crack a code hidden within the movies official website. Only true fans would persist or take the time to dig deep enough to figure out what is going on. One fan by the name of Riskproduction in the SuperHeroHype Forums is credited with helping the fire to spread through Twitter by solving the first puzzle.

Here’s how this first puzzle was solved:

  1. Go to  www.thedarkknightrises.com where you will see a black screen with a strange chant playing. Not your typical movie site you might think. But wait for the clever bit.
  2. Save the audio wav clip of the chant that is playing and open it with audio editing software. Check the audio spectrum and you will see the a hidden message which points to a Twitter account called @TheFireRises.

    The Fire Rises wav file audio spectrum

    Weird chant audio spectrum

  3. TOnce this was discovered, tweets with the hashtag #TheFireRises started pouring out from the Dark Knight fan base.
  4. Once enough tweets were sent, the image of Tom Hardy as the villain known as Bane was finally revealed.

    Tom Hardy as the villain known as Bane was finally revealed
  5. What’s really cool is the image which is revealed is a mosaic made up of the profile picture of the fans who retweeted #TheFireRises.Bane Website Mosiac by Hashtag Art
  6. Hashtag Art is the company behind this cool feature.

Hashtag Art Logo
Hashtag Art has proprietary technology and a suite of apps that make it fun for consumers to spread a brand’s message.

This campaign succeeds because it knows its target audience and first aims to win over the hardcore Batman fans. The type of fans who are willing to invest time in solving tricky puzzles. By adopting this strategy Christopher Nolan believes that the fire will eventually spread from the hardcore fan base to the wider public which will ensure he sells out movie theaters this time next year.

The question now is can the film live up to the excellence of the campaign? At Fluffy Links we’re already prepared to start queueing.

If you want a clue as to how this campaign might evolve check out the 2009 social media alternate reality game “Why So Serious” which won a Cyber Grand Prix in the viral category. In this campaign the Joker terrorised America through the social media world. If the 2011 campaign improves on this then fans are in for an very entertaining 12 months.

2009 Dark Knight School Media Campaign

NEW 2011 The Dark Knight Rises Trailer (goes on release in 2012)

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