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The Pitch

the idea

Produce a sophisticated trend driven marketing campaign, that encourages audience participation and involvement through Omni channel communication, away from traditional marketing methods. The campaign should raise awareness whilst building a strong brand-audience relationship to generate output success.


the answer...

what is it...

An alternate reality game, engaging the audience in a series of interactive activities across multi channel platforms to stimulate interest prior to the launch of DC Comic’s The Justice League movie. Guardians In Disguise is a scavenger hunt with narrative influenced elements from The Justice League - DC comics most famous superhero collection. Activities will unfold online, via broadcast and print, and experiential events in the five hometown states/cities of the superhero cast.

budget... Movie studios often spend nearly half of their overall budget on marketing. The Dark Knight was allocated a marketing budget of $185 million, a budget that was raised to $250million for the final instalment, The Dark Knight Rises. This budget has successfully created immersive campaigns that has pushed box office success. Man of Steel has been offered approximately $110 million to reboot the Superman franchise. Using these figures, it can be assumed that The Justice League of America movie would receive a marketing budget in the region of $181 million.

timeline... The Promotional 'Missing persons' Campaign A missing person’s style campaign targeting the wider audience; families and those with an interest in blockbuster cinema. It is also designed to reach those within specific cities that have the ability to participate within the offline activities.

Guardians In Disguise Campaign Comic book fanatics will become the early adopters of the campaign, recognising inter-textual references within the first stages of the campaign. The use of social media will cause a viral success, as players are encouraged to interact and share information, inviting a wider audience to the campaign.

The Justice League Movie Guardians In Disguise will provide a deeper emotional connection with the DC brand and its characters, potentially attracting maximum box office success. This could then motivate further DC character reboot movies.

Guardians in disguise platforms

Broadcast experiential event print


experiential event

what will it achieve?

Snowballing from the success of The Dark Knight trilogy and the Why So Serious campaign, Guardians In Disguise should encourage success for The Justice League movie, maintaining DC Comic’s domination of the superhero genre.

If Guardians In Disguise achieves this, it could increase the possibility for other DC Comic’s superhero reboots, offering opportunities to earn more revenue.

The Avengers set the bar high...

The Justice League must raise the bar higher

Guardians In disguise - the concept

Green Lantern will launch the campaign with a United States Air Force recruitment style commercial airing on the CW network. The CW network is also the home to Smallville and Arrow, popular shows based on DC Comic’ superheroes Superman and Green Arrow. Showcasing the life of pilot, Hal Jordan, comic book fanatics will instantly decipher the intertextuality of this clue.

By calling the contact number, players will embark on their first mission with the Guardian In Disguise campaign.....

A flight of great importance will land into Logan Int. Airport, Boston on February 1st. Her maiden voyage will be the key to progress. On her arrival, refer to www.

Wonder Woman, the icon of feminine power. She will decorate the nose of the Virgin Atlantic plane, Diana. Landing in her home town of Boston, Massachusetts, she will carry precious cargo; influential people from the press and Richard Branson himself to publicize the event, increasing audience awareness of the campaign.

Each aircraft displays its registration on the back wing for easy tracking, this will act as a password on, transforming the website into the Guardians In Disguise official campaign website.

The Guardians In Disguise website will keep players updated with campaign news...

EXtra Extra

read all about it

A special edition of The Daily Planet will be released in 7/11 stores in the five home states of the Justice League superheroes; California, Kansas, Iowa, New York and Boston. Written by Clark Kent, the Justice League movie villain will make headlines on the front page.

Referencing the planet, Krypton, players will need to complete the Kryptic Crossword, to find the clue to the next piece of the puzzle.

By entering the Kryptic Crossword clue into the Guardians In Disguise website, the website will transform into an online dating website. By exploring the singles, players will find Barry Allen; an easy going widow, working as a police scientist with a fear of rollercoaster’s.

Who wouldn't want a date with me? I'm the fastest man on the planet!

Requesting a date with Barry Allen will be a date they wont forget ; a ticket to a charity event held by the Wayne Foundation in New York city.

Fastest fingers first will be given the opportunity to attend the event in real time, others will be able to watch via live stream...

Held in the Grand Ballroom in Gotham Hall, the ultimate billionaire playboy location. The bat signal will light up the sky as guests of influential stature arrive at the venue. To bring the campaign to a climax, the event will exclusively showcase the extended Justice League movie trailer.

Is that the final climax? Does a Bruce Wayne party ever end undisrupted? Expect fireworks.


The promotional campaign

The Guardians In Disguise campaign encourages players to search for the five members of the Justice League. A promotional campaign will raise awareness of the Guardians In Disguise campaign to a wider audience, acting as a prequel campaign. The Concept - The 5 members of the Justice League have been reported missing. Anyone with any information to their whereabouts, or to join the search should refer to

The faces of the Justice League will be plastered onto milk cartons, a stereotypical advertising method for a missing person. But in the style of artist Liu Bolin, the superheroes will physically disappear into the grocery store, a surprise for shoppers across the US.

Strategic guerrilla marketing will occur in the five hometowns of the Justice League superheroes. To give participants a hint of what to expect from the Guardian In Disguise campaign, the promotional ‘Missing Persons’ campaign has an element of interactivity.

The following experience will take place to advertise the disappearance of Batman;

Citizens of New York will be sent on a scavenger hunt through the city, following bat signals to an underground parking lot.

Abandoned, is the bat tumbler, with a hidden message in the skid marks. To decipher the message, people will take to the internet and social media, to find videos and mock news reports documenting the event, all directing traffic to the Guardians In Disguise website.

Interactive online banners will literally jump out to internet users, grabbing attention and enticing more players to the Justice League movie campaign.

Staying ahead of the game

Research was conducted to discover where opportunities lied to provide a more intimate and sensory audience experience within the film industry.

When audience stimulation levels are low, they will divert and look for variety. Research has shown that the customer experience needs to be delivered at a more sophisticated level. Experiential marketing offers high levels of stimulation, inducing the audience’s emotional response and increasing the opportunities for brand involvement.

Marketing... Cinema is considered the most affordable entertainment option for families in the US and Canada. Technological advancements, such as 3D, can become explosive and drive ticket sales, but can become repetitive. Experiences must be exclusive or once in a lifetime to capture and hold attention.

Cinema... A movie life cycle can be prolonged through events and tourist attractions. To encourage ticket sales or audience participation, the film must have been a box office success or part of a popular franchise. Primary research also suggested that to create an immersive experience, elements of fantasy are important to add to the magic. Therefore, films with an enhanced reality world, such as Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter, would benefit from this form of experience.


turn fantasy into reality

Secret Cinema - become part of the film. live the experience for real

take the average experience...

Life of Pi screening in paris where viewers watched from boats in a pool. The only thing they're missing are the beautiful creatures swimming beneath the surface.

...a step further

spread the word

WWF publicity stunt to spread the word that only 1600 pandas are left in the world.

Make it a viral success For the promotion of Monsters University, Pixar created an immersive website that touts the opportunities at the fictional school. Boasting sections that detail campus events, financial aid, student testimonials and even scientific studies, is a substantial early campaign that positions the movie for both a teenage and older audience.

think big To promote The Smurfs 3D, the small village of Juzcar was painted blue. This has caused quite a buzz and turned the spanish coastal village into a popular tourist attraction.

steal the spotlight

The Star Trek logo lit up the london sky during earth hour to promote Star Trek Into The Darkness. " The best part? No one had to boldly go where no man has gone before to see this awesome promotion."

deliver the element of surprise

During opening week of SkyFall in stockholm, one lucky member of the audience won a waterproof sony x-peria phone. How did they find it? It started to ring in their soda refreshment cup.

take people on a journey

For the release of the Dark Knight, an alternate reality game was created and launched at ComicCon. The joker's henchmen were sent on a scavenger hunt to carry out tasks across the world, over various platforms. The campaign became a viral success and made The dark Knight a box office phenomenon.

make the magic... situated in universal studios, islands of adventure, the wizarding world of harry potter encouraged an increase of 1.7million visitors to the park in 2010. The entire world is a replica from the book, shops are to scale, giving guests the ultimate harry potter experience.

The warner bros studio tour is a tourist attraction displaying iconic costumes, props and sets from harry potter. Located in london, the home of harry potter, guests can get completely behind the scenes.

...last a little longer

final words

The future of marketing relies on innovation. Guardians In Disguise was designed to answer research regarding cinema and experiential marketing trends. Audiences wish to be challenged and presented with fresh ideas that enhance their experiences. This campaign allows the participant to become physically immersed within a narrative influenced sequence of events, that improves the emotional attachment to the DC Comics brand and its characters.

image references What Will It Achieve The Idea The Concept Green Lantern Wonder Woman Superman Flash Batman

Liu Bolin Staying Ahead of The Game Secret Cinema Life of Pi WWF Monsters University Smurfs Star Trek Sky fall The Dark Knight Harry Potter

Pitch document