It’s arguably the biggest and most anticipated movie release of the last three years, so it’s no surprise that the launch of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’ – scheduled to hit cinemas next week – is complemented by a massive marketing push, with mobile apps right at the forefront.
Batman on Windows Phone
Warner Bros is pushing out two apps to coincide with The Dark Knight Rises release. The first is a fairly simple iOS affair that lets you overlay a Batman mask onto your face – nothing we haven’t seen before. However, the second app – exclusive to Windows Phone 7 – is probably the most impressive movie promotional app yet. The Dark Knight Rises WP7 app was initially exclusive to Nokia’s Batman special edition Lumia line of smartphones, but since last week it has been made available to all smartphones running Microsoft’s mobile operating system.
The app boasts a number of cool features and opens-up to a slick custom made Dark Knight user interface – like Windows Metro but with a distinctive Batman skin. From this home screen users can pretty much see all of the promotional material that’s been released so far, including all the trailers, an exclusive app trailer, a bunch of wallpapers, movie stills and other media files.
Clever social integration
The Dark Knight Rises uses Nokia Maps integration to let you locate the nearest cinema that will be showing the movie, giving you a big countdown timer and displaying bat logos all over the UI. Nokia has also created a 3D map of Gotham City for users to explore. Then there’s movie facts, cast info and a whole bunch of other bonus movie material.
But the biggest feature – certainly the one that got me most excited – is the location-based Dark Knight Rises game, which integrates with social network Foursquare. In the game players choose to support Batman, or the baddie Bane. You then have to check-in as many places as possible to claim ‘territory’ for your team. The more check-ins you make, the more opportunity to win bonus content, such as Batman ringtones. This is a really neat marketing game with a smart social network spin.
Tip of the iceberg?
Warner Bros is no stranger to using mobile apps to promote its films. The studio has been very active on the mobile platform, promoting films such as Dark Shadows and Happy Feet with big mobile ad campaigns and social mobile campaigns. The studio also released app versions of a number of its films in territories where iTunes movie service isn’t available. However, Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises app is easily the most lavish and feature-packed movie-promotional apps yet released, proving that the big studios are investing more and more in mobile when it comes to marketing their major releases.