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“Inception” earned a well deserved 60 million dollars this weekend because of its “mind bending, cerebral experience” of a story. This movie inspired an Oscar worthy buzz and could undoubtedly stand on its own to draw in millions of impressed fans, but much of the monetary success has to be attributed to the omnipresent hype machine that was “Inception’s” marketing campaign. Warner Brothers teamed up with Verizon, Wired Magazine, Fandango, and Yahoo to produce an engaging viral campaign that reached across many demographics.

The first steps of “Inception’s” 100 million dollar viral campaign included the launch of an intriguing website with only the presence of a spinning top.  This ominous top began spinning at www.mind-crime.com, on August 21st 2009, and did nothing but enticed fans to seek out the first official trailer.  After surfing the web in anticipation all weekend, eager fans had to settle for a brief teaser.


Fans had to wait four more months for any more word from Warner Brothers, but in December the top in the banner above started to slow down.  Die hard Christopher Nolan fans reported that the once relentlessly spinning top was about to topple over, and when it did a link brought fans to the campaign’s next step.

screen-shot-2010-07-19-at-50947-pmFans in search of insights to “Inception” were brought to a video game where they could either design mazes that other players could try to solve, or try to solve mazes that other players had created.  This addicting game also served as a portal to release posters and images for the movie.  This initial launch of the game was incomplete and kept players waiting for additional levels and viral clues to follow.

screen-shot-2010-07-19-at-53643-pmAfter the release of Mind Crime, posters and movie stills were released slowly, and orchestrated in a way that highlighted the overall theme of secrecy and adventure.  Seemingly important  aspects of the movie were utilized in scavenger hunts, contests, interactive advertisements, and always demanded a viewers full attention.   “Inception’s” adventurous attitude was dialed right into Verizon’s Droid phones with the Protect Your Dreams app.  This interactive application gave fans a chance to play games that promoted the movie’s music, themes, actors and Verizon.

“Inception’s” success has been attributed to the overall distinctiveness of its plot, settings, and unrelenting entertainment value, and those qualities will always create a substantial buzz.  When analyzing the overall success of the film, don’t forget that the marketing style utilized drew fans in, making them feel as if they were apart of the action.  Because “Inception’s” marketing alone provided entertainment value of such a high standard fans had no choice but to be swept up in the excitement.


3 thoughts on “Inception’s Viral Success
  1. Maria says:

    Although I agree that Inception’s success is a result of the complex plot, settings, and unrelenting entertainment value, I think you forgot one element… Leo! Between his outstanding acting ability, and boyish good looks, he alone can draw a crowd. Can’t wait to see it!

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