Is Warner Bros. paying street marketing teams to vandalize public property in New York City? Well, when put that way, it sounds like something the film industry monolith wouldn’t want to own up to. Whether or not they’re responsible, the words “Who Watches the Watchmen?” have appeared in spray-paint on walls across the big apple, inviting the question of whether Warner Bros. is responsible or if renegade street vandal/comic book geeks have taken to the night to publicly display their excitement over this week’s theatrical release of the highly anticipated Watchmen movie.

Better yet, it begs the question of whether advertising like this is effective. On one hand, it places the name of the film squarely on the minds of anyone who gets a glimpse. On the other hand, it’s too esoteric to reach anyone who wouldn’t have been going in the first place.

Some interesting photos of the famous Hiroshima Lovers silhouettes painted next to advertisements for The Veidt Method and more scrawling of the enigmatic rhetorical question of watching Watchmen have also surfaced in Toronto, that’s most likely related to the underground publicity stunt/geektastic orgasm of spray-painted excitement seen across NYC.

Hat tip to our friends at /Film who compiled the pics from flick users: davesbu, kellan, andrewdkeller and twitpic users bonerjamz and HermitHomeboy.

What do you think? Is marketing like this actually hitting an audience? Is that audience targeting going to translate into box office receipts?

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