#4 THE BOMB SCARE
You remember the viral marketing for The Dark Knight, right? Of course you do, it was one of the most unique and interesting marketing approaches that we’ve seen in the modern era and it all totally worked. Well, one bit of the marketing was a little less successful than others and it involved a cake and a news station (I know, it sounds like the hilarious start of a pitch for an Adam Sandler movie). This piece of marketing also had no official affiliation with WB.
There was a real sect of The Dark Knight marketing that had different bakeries across America handing out a free cake to the first person to walk in claiming to be “Robbin Banks” (Get it? Robbing Banks.). On the cake would be the words “Call me now” along with a phone number. When called, a phone inside the cake would start to ring which then lead down a whole other rabbit hole of “getting in touch” with the Joker.
A few months later a small chain of theaters in Texas saw this and decided to emulate it, too bad they didn’t let anyone know that they were just promoting a silly movie. KENS 5 TV in San Antonio got a package one day a few weeks before the opening of The Dark Knight. Inside this package was a cake and that cake was modeled after those other previously mentioned cakes, but with a less conspicuous design for the “hidden bomb.” As a result, the building was evacuated and the bomb squad was called. An assignment manager for the news station said, “I noticed it was in an unmarked box. It was really dirty. The outside of the box had icing all over it. And the cake wasn’t a professional looking cake.” At least the people responsible were accurate in their cake making skills.
Check out the fake ‘cake bomb’ above via Chief Marketer and the ‘real’ ‘cake bomb’ below via Hollywood Chicago.