Archive for April, 2008

I Believe in Harvey Dent

April 19, 2008

As the presidential primary and a number of local primaries come to a head in Pennsylvania, voters have been asked from every media outlet for candidate’s support. Over the past week I’ve received a sizable collection of postcards, a few e-mails and almost a dozen pre-recorded phone calls. The mailings and emails I can handle, but the phone calls have become my make-or-break for candidates. You call me, you lose my vote. Well, not really. I’ll still vote for the candidates I support, but three calls in a row during the last hour of work on a Friday is a bit much. So, is it wrong that the one candidate I leave my desk for to listen to their complete pre-recorded plea AND take a 2 minute survey for is the Gotham City D.A. Harvey Dent?

For those not in the know: The Dark Knight is the upcoming sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, a gritty re-imagining of Batman. Hitting theaters July 18th, The Dark Knight is looking to be the Batman film audiences wished the previous film was. While Batman Begins villains Ra’s al Ghul and the Scarecrow were entertaining, the average person has no clue who these guys are. Thankfully The Dark Knight is giving us Harvey Dent aka Two Face and (sound of trumpet fanfare) THE JOKER! While these two alone are enough to put butts in the seats, Warner Brothers have really taken the film’s publicity to a whole new level.

Utilizing viral marketing (marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to increase brand awareness), Warner Brothers has created almost a dozen websites dedicated to fighting the Joker’s rise in crime, assisting the Joker in rising in crime and praising or defacing (no pun intended) Harvey Dent. is a near-perfect spoof of the Obama/Clinton campaign sites, including an updating map of Gotham showing the rise in support for Dent, endorsement videos and printable campaign support kits. The largest move the faux campaign has made so far is a nationwide tour of Dentmobiles, campaign support vans which show up in major cities to crowds of fans sporting homemade campaign gear chanting “Dent! Dent! Dent!”

On the reverse, a series of defacing sites have appeared as well as a site dedicated to the Joker. Since the death of Heath Ledger the site has become a memorial, depicting a black ribbon atop a viral game. About a month after Ledger’s death, new Joker sites have cropped up. The latest being As with the previous Joker sites, Joker fans are asked to perform real-world tasks in order to obtain prizes. awarded the first image of Ledger’s Joker to those who emailed the site, slowly revealing a photo as more emails came in. Another game asked fans to head to the streets taking photos of signage based on clues on the site. As the photos were sent in, select letters of the signs were placed on a page resembling a kidnapper’s clip-and-paste note revealing what is now the eerily fitting message on Ledger’s memorial site; “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.”

While the 2008 primary and eventual election envelops our lives, its rather funny that the best way to escape the election is to follow and participate in a mock-election for a man who was once played by an over-the-top Tommy Lee Jones. Some may say that fictional pop-culture has superceded interest in the real world, but I believe that people are still very committed to the electoral process. Ah, never mind. Why so serious? I believe in Harvey Dent.