The Dark Knight Viral Marketing

If you’re looking for the latest in the viral marketing for The Dark Knight, click here.

Update: 5:14PM EST – according to someone who was working with another guy at Comic Con, the people who were there, and participated, received joker masks. If anyone got one, please send us a picture, to share with everyone.

It’s also been noted, that we left out the telephone number from the first clue, which gives a “creepy” recording of the Joker, holding someone hostage. That number is 800-395-9646, in case anyone wants to give it a call.

Since sometime yesterday, I’ve been keeping my eye on this website, which appears to be a new viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, the new Batman movie, starring the super-awesome Christian Bale. The website’s had a countdown (to 1PM EST today), and says the following:

Tired of your miserable, dead-end job? Ready for a change of page? Our elite organization is expanding! We’re looking for fresh faces to represent us in an important upcoming negotiation. You must be 18 or older to apply. Enjoy a career in a lucrative, ultra high-profile field. Our associates make their own hours, enjoy great benefits and, in some cases, work from home. Do you have what it takes? Qualified recruits must have: An open mind, Strong moral compass, the ability to improvise. Recruits are encouraged to ask a friend with access to the internet to help them from home. If you don’t have any friends, consider hiring one.

It the goes on to give some coordinates, and tells you to be there, when the clock hits zero. Mapping the coordinates, it leads you to a park across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic Con is happening today. (Oddly enough, today is Warner Brothers’ day to do their panel.) Since last night, they’ve added more to the riddle, and a picture of the park where to be:

Listen, Friends, jobs like this have to be earned. You will need to commit about anhour of your time, there will be challenges online and on the ground – you will need to work in crews, with people in the street talking to people online. Anyone applying for this job in person will need to show up (picture of park here) exactly here when the countdown hits zero.

Since I’ve been following this since last night, I did some research. The viral marketing appears to be casting for extras in the movie. In order to be cast, you have to complete an online/in person scavenger hunt and trivia challenge. The prize for completion is a possible role as an extra in the movie. There’s little to few confirmed details at this point, but we should know more at 1PM EST (in about 25 miuntes), I’ll update then.

Update #1 1:09PM EST

AT 1PM, the website changed from its countdown, and proclamation of building an army, to something different. (Note: the site got hit with so much traffic at exactly 1PM, pageload times were extremely long.)

Ready to play a joke? Tell your stooges on the ground to look up. They’ll tell you what to do next

Ready to Play?

Sadly, I don’t know anyone there, so I can’t progress along in the “game”. Any updates I find, I’ll post them here.

Update #2 1:36PM

“INSIDE JOKE” is the passphrase fpr checkpoint 1:

Checkpoint 2

Checkpoint #2 says:

While your friends are on their way, tell me something. Catherine, Annie, Elizabeth and Mary Jane had someone I admire in common. Who was it?

Answer: Jack the Ripper

Checkpoint #3 has an mp3 of morse code, in laughs.

Checkpoint 3

Very good! Always leave them smiling, that’s what I say! Now you’ll need your friends to collect some tools of the trade from our representatives. Use the pass phrase “I feel pretty” to take the next step in your exiciting new career! Remember, though, it’s the early worm that gets the hook. First come first served. While your friends dash off to connect the dots — had a laugh on me…

Trying to figure out the morse code now…


On to checkpoint 4:

Checkpoint 4

While everyone is on the way, here’s another task for you… CPRAISMESIOOFN

Update #3: 1:54PM

Read every other letter in the CPRAISMOSIOOFN, Crime of passion Checkpoint #5

Checkpoint 5

Yes, in crime as in any other fine art, passion is a necessary ingredient for greatness. Now, to complete the next step in the interview process, tell your friends to find the handsome bouquet-bearing gentlemen. Tell one of them “why so serious” and he might give them something orhe might just KILL them. Life is full of choices. From what he gives them, your friends will have your keyphrase.

This part requires someone out in San Diego.. so we’ll have to wait for details.

Update #4 2:08PM EST

The piece of paper read something about “head games”, which got us along to the next step in the puzzle.


And a note, about the Joker (Click to enlarge):

Remember prison? Sure you do! There are some things in every jail your friends on the ground can find in certain circular fountains, too. Tell me how many and of what.

We then head over to circular fountains in San Diego, and count 74 bars. On to the next step!

Checkpoint 7

While your friends are on their way, tell me something. Who was the lawyer who got his client acquitted of murder by fatally shooting himself by accident in a courtroom in 1871? Accidents can have the best consequences…

A quick Wikipedia lookup shows us that the lawyer was Vallandigham. Which brings us to the next clue:

Checkpoint 8

Dr. Death was “Gaslamp Dan Haslam” (minus the quotes)

Ask your friends to look around and tell you Dr. Death’s real name. (And I don’t mean Dr. Hellfern)

Checkpoint 9
Click to enlarge

The cards along the bottom signify letters of the alphabet, the cards spell out “unforgivable”. Next step!

Checkpoint 10

Somewhere along this street you’ll find a father teaching his son to defend himself with a very effective weapon. So what’s in the child’s hands? Oh, and be sure to smile for the hidden camera”

Joker 2

click to enlarge

Next step!

Checkpoint 11

While your friends are on their way, let’s practice our ransom note skills, shall we? (see above) It’s always a valuable sell if someone goes MISSING.

The letters missing from the alphabet spell out larceny, that’s the answer!

Checkpoint 12

Somewhere at this location is a precious little “Gotham Girl Guide” and her cookies. Your friend will be hungry by now, so tell him to help himself to a box, five-finger discount style. But don’t stick around – we don’t want her to be able to recognize him in the perp-walk tomorrow…

Update #5 2:47PM EST

Note: I started getting “Server is too busy” errors about now, but will press forward…

Update #6 3:47PM EST

Finally got the 8th passphrase for the “Gotham Girl Guide” cookies. The passphrase is “starve”, which is what’ll happen to her, after everyone steals her cookies.

Checkpoint 13

While they’re on their way, here’s a little something to keep you busy!

Some form of bomb decoding, something or other…

Update #6 4:18PM EST

REAPER – thanks for the answer, mysterious helper person. (Now, please stop hotlinking our images, before I replace them with something disgusting.)

Checkpoint 14

There’s just one more part of our hiring process. When your friends on the ground get back to the vans, they will need to submit one of their own to complete the application process. Tell them that when they have found the lucky applicant, they should be sure to get the plate number.

The plate number is: 2971759, which brings us to the very end…

Checkpoint 15

We have a winner! A new clown has stepped up to represent me in some sensitive negotiations with old pals of mine from uptown. The lucky candidate will be starting his new career at the County Morgue within the hour. Your buddies on the ground should go back to the vans. Nobody goes home empty handed! Thanks for the smiles.

There’s also on this page, a tiny flickering light.. if you click it, you get the teaser trailer for the movie, which can be found here (, or by completing the game.

We also found, in the game, a picture of the Joker, the image is titled “The Knife”:

The Knife - The Dark Knight
Click to enlarge

Hope everyone enjoyed our walkthrough as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Can’t wait for the movie, it’s going to be great!


  1. Mad Hatter on said:

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Marketing The Dark Knight: A Viral Revolution | Film School Rejects on said:

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    […] the same time that ComicCon was going on in San Diego, The Joker stepped-up his recuiting. Here’s an account of an online recruiting effort. It mentions that there were coordinates leading to a field across […]

  4. New Viral Marketing for Batman sequel | Between The Staples by Robert J. Parizek on said:

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  5. Mike on said:

    I agree, the movie’s going to be super-duper awesome!

  6. Dark Knight Review on said:

    The new Dark Knight looks to be totally awesome. These guys marketing dark knight know what fans want to see.

  7. San Diegan on said:

    FYI. I participated in this with a Comic Con-er.

    Those physically at location and completing the game received Joker Masks. Might wanna update that. What the masks look like? Dunno.

  8. anonymous on said:

    The girlscout password is “starve”

  9.   Following The Joker's Footsteps by B.R. Daily on said:

    […] here to see .jpgs of each Web […]

  10. Jim on said:

    Someone at AICN said it was “starve” I can’t load up why so serious, so I can’t try it, but that may work.

  11. Mike on said:

    Dr Death was “Gaslamp Dan Haslam” just like that, same spacing.

  12. Kozinski on said:

    This is cool – thanks for this – but who is Dr. Death?

  13. Christine on said:

    This is so unbelievably cool. I wish I knew people in San Diego.


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