The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Viral Marketing Ploy
I am a fan of the Swedish trilogy of the movie franchise adapted from Steig Larsson’s book series. Now, the first installment is being made in English by director David Fincher for Sony Pictures. Slated for a 2011 Christmas release film enthusiasts were pleasantly surprised in late May when apparently a teaser trailer was made available online in what looked like a pirated version. Typical trademarks of a “cam job’ were noticeable instantly-the shaky camera adjusting the view of the movie screen in a darkened film theater. To a trained eye, it may have been obvious that this “leaked” trailer was in effect a planned marketing ploy by the studio but to the majority of the fans, caught up in the excitement of “discovering” the teaser that had only been shown in Europe, it was a coup. By the time the debate on whether this was a studio tactic or indeed a pirated leak was settled the YouTube video had garnered close to a million plus views. Slowly, experts conceded that they and the fans had been very cleverly had. Sony Pictures officially denies releasing the trailer but sufficient evidence points directly in their direction. There have been several blogs and articles on the authenticity of the “bootleg” trailer.
I think it was a creative marketing strategy, the protagonist of the book and the movie Lisabeth Salander would definitely approve. There is already an inbuilt audience for the US version of the movie, people who have read the book and those who have watched the film trilogy. There is something devilishly appealing to us about Lisabeth, strong and independent but at the same time vulnerable and hurt. She is the personification of the wounded human spirit that can still emerge victorious. And considering the sneaky way the trailer was brought to the fans it is well in keeping with her character.
Why this viral marketing was successful, in my opinion is because we tend to compare, here the benchmark was the original series, the trailer gave us the first hand view of what the Hollywood version would be like, we want to be part of the in-group, discovering the trailer and sharing it with our network makes us feel we are with “it” and at heart we would like to believe we are rebels, what is unofficial is exciting, a characteristic we share with Lisabeth Salander. Of course, without the strong visuals and the amazing soundtrack, there was no way the trailer would have succeeded as wildly as it did. As with most viral campaigns content emerges king and audience the final judge, however a little sneakiness adds to the thrill? Ne c’est pas Sony?