Share a Laugh and Shed a Tear for the End of The Joker’s Viral Shennanigans

Why So Serious

It’s been over a year since the viral marketing for The Dark Knight really got cranked up. In that time, people have learned second languages, taken first steps, and gotten promotions at work. I, on the other hand, have spent most of my time following the ad campaign and avoiding showers. It’s been a fantastic ad campaign, but with the movie coming out in 17 days, even it must come to an end.

After the original campaign was revamped to focus on Harvey Dent, The Joker seemed to sneak his way back into the fold a few months ago – his first major ploy sent fans around the world to bowling alleys to collect signatures bowling bags and instructions. After that, we were caught in a sting operation by Gotham’s cracker-jack detective police force. I even got sent to jail for the night because of it.

There’s a ton that’s gone on, but luckily, those handsome fools over at SuperHero Hype have written up a nice little update that focuses on The Clown Prince of Crime’s final act, a to-do list highlighting everything he wanted to accomplish. And a few things that he hasn’t yet.

The main site at Why So Serious? has been updated with all the materials from the past year, including police reports covering the mayhem.

Perhaps the most curious thing on the site is a list of phone numbers to local Gothamite business. I gave The Gotham Times a ring to try to score a subscription, but their services, as the sweet recorded voice told me, were down for the moment. I’m hoping The Joker has something to do with it.

If you’re interested in the square stuff, Gotham Cable News has updated, as has Citizens for Batman. Both make me hungry for Betty’s House of Pies.

I know I’ve praised this campaign since the beginning, and geeked out over every new development, but the one thing I haven’t lauded it for yet is perhaps the most impressive: its scope. The project is so massive that it’s difficult to comprehend. It extends from the real world into the interwebs seamlessly, linking dozens of websites with multiple pages, phone banks and real-life operators into one large network of debauchery. It mobilized thousands of fans – hundreds of which sent in photographs or protested in public for the sake of being part of something much larger than themselves.

It’s been a wild ride that will be coming to an end soon – a glorious, momentous end by all early reviewing accounts – but perhaps it’s laid the groundwork for the next villain to do his or her dirty work virally.

Also, not to be forgotten — the WhySoSerious site also updated with a brand new poster for the film, one which has the Joker’s style literally written all over it (click to enlarge):

The Dark Knight Why So Serious Poster

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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