26 December 2013 4412 Views

Year In Review: Top 15 Viral Campaigns Of 2013

by Michael Lee

Godzilla header
Godzilla
Though the trailer was released just a few weeks ago, Warner Bros used Comic-Con to debut its viral campaign for Godzilla. Using an unoccupied building, the marketing team set up the Godzilla Encounter for fans to experience the King Of Monsters first hand. And you know they had something special when fans had to sign up to experience the Godzilla Encounter. A few months after Comic-Con, the MUTO website was launched. Baring some resemblance to the Pacific Rim Kaiju sitings website, MUTO offered glimpses of Godzilla’s massive destruction, but the site was more than that. It was actually a teaser site to announce that the first trailer would debut the very next day. With so much viral potential, Godzilla is one of our most anticipated films of 2014.

x-men days of future past viral magneto bent bullet
X-Men Days Of Future Past
Fox’s sequel to their successful film franchise first had it’s biggest viral impact at the San Diego Comic-Con when they debuted the very first look of the head of a mutant hunting Sentinel. Trask Industries was the go to site to find out all you needed to know about Bryan Singer’s upcoming film, of course it provided just enough images for fans to keep on asking for more. But then came a new viral website site. TheBentBullet.com then took a new turn giving us probably one of the more controversial viral campaigns of the year. The site launched in a timely manner, and made its official debut around the anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Modeled as a conspiracy theory website, the BentBullet said that it was Magneto who was the one who killed JFK, and not Lee Harvey Oswald. Not only that, but it provided reasons as to why Magneto went forward with his plans of assassination, which was actually a story that bridged the gap between the First Class and DOFP.

Man Of Steel Viral Site Header Image
Man Of Steel
The viral marketing for Man of Steel took a different approach from the rest of the films. It sent out a message, literally. The DSRW website (and the official website) started it all with sending out a message determined to be unclear due to the massive amounts of static. It was up to fans to clear it all up and dechiper it. But that wasn’t the only message sent out during the viral campaign. More mysterious transmissions started to appear on the viral website. Once decoded, they lead to other sites like countdowns to the new trailer, hidden Easter Eggs, and better yet: even more viral websites. But there were also a few fun games to please to ease off the scavenger hunting pressure. Man of Steel apps like the Man of Steel Glyph Cypher allowed Superman fans to find out their Kryptonian heritage. And famous celebrities tried to figure out how the Superman shaves if he is supposedly indestructible. Even after the movie was released, the Man of Steel viral continued to thrive. Heading into the release of the Blu-ray/DVD, a viral site to teach you about the Krypton’s language, culture, and military was launched. Though it didn’t have anything to do with the viral campaign per say, it was a nifty marketing gag to get fans roped in to buying the DVD.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Header
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
If there was anything that would take the top prize of being the best viral campaign for movies this year, it would have to be Anchorman 2: The Legend continues. Everyone across the country was literally inundated with massive amounts of Ron Burgundy’s presence that could range from Dodge commercials, news broadcast appearances, his very own museum exhibit, an instagram-inspired contest, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor called Scotchy Scotch Scotch (it was actually butter Scotch). Perhaps it may have been a bit too much, considering the film debuted at number 2 at the box office. Our very own Alex Gerage called the campaign obnoxious, due to the fact that comedies lack “characters with deep stories that we invest in emotionally or identify with personally, which is why you don’t see many expansive viral campaigns” for films like Anchorman 2. That being said, the film has changed the way we view viral campaigns.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Dr Octopus easter egg header
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The movie isn’t even out yet, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 already has a strong viral presence, and it is only just getting started. First the Daily Bugle tumblr site launched, offering us that bridge between the first and second film. But it went even further with teasing us with villains who could appear in the villainous group: The Sinister Six. Sneaky and hidden websites, like ElectroArrives.com, in the trailers virtually went unnoticed for a week, until those who dissected the trailer frame by frame found a new site. So what can we expect in the next year? Not really sure, but with more villains abound, and the Sinister Six yet to emerge, we have very high expectations for the film’s viral campaign.



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