BATMAN V SUPERMAN : DAWN OF JUSTICE LAUNCHES NEW VIRAL CAMPAIGN
Viral marketing is not dead! Indeed, it never went away. One could argue that its impact was dulled somewhat as like any marketing method, the novelty wore off. In the era of relentless social media too, such tricks have become less necessary. A movie’s momentum is generated largely by the fans and their endless theories and related posts.
One such example is a current piece doing the rounds that suggests BEN AFFLECK is in fact NOT playing THE Batman but some impostor, with CHRISTIAN BALE still the ‘true’ Batman and that BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is in fact set in the same universe as the Christoper Nolan DARK KNIGHT series. Tempting though it might be to accept such speculation and supposition as fact, I’d prefer to stick with official materials from the studio, Warner Bros. And it is there that viral campaigns can prove so important.
So, we have an actual advert / broadcast from Lex-Corp itself. This makes the fictional universe feel real and relevant and helps draw out the characters and the plot of the film, long before release, whilst avoiding full on ‘spoilers’.
In this case, it also helps cement the idea that the Lex Luthor (JESSE EISENBERG) in this iteration is indeed cut from the same cloth as a Mark Zuckerberg type. It’s Facebook turned evil in the comic book movie universe. Same way James Bond films of old tended to take the template of whichever industrialist was in power and give them a supervillain makeover.
This is still the villain of the piece and he will be the catalyst for the conflict between the eponymous heroes. But his public face is one of a philanthropic innovator and entrepeneur with a power-base in social media. Makes sense, especially given Eisenberg’s form for playing Zuckerberg himself in the Aaron Sorkin /David Fincher film, The Social Network (2010). In short, perhaps Luthor will turn technology to pervert public opinion and mobilise it against Superman, thereby enticing Batman from retirement to take out the Kryptonian? Just a thought.
It’s a long way from initial ideas that BRYAN CRANSTON, MARK STRONG or BRUCE WILLIS might be playing Luthor as an elder statesman. But pertinent and effective and understandable: Eisenberg is a different guise for Luthor but the character’s aims remain fairly constant.
As for the ‘viral’ material itself? Not necessarily the most original or necessary campaign in the history of viral marketing. And many have pointed out its similarities to both the TERMINATOR: GENISYS and PROMETHEUS counterpart set ups. It will also never top the brilliantly surprising materials that were created for 2008’s DARK KNIGHT: a product that modeled viral campaigning at its very best, via smart placement and subtle yet bold reveals.
But it is better than nothing. It works! And it is a welcome addition to the hype and supplemental universe building for additional sequels that will accompany BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Judge for yourself, below. The red capes are coming..