Christopher Nolan’s Inception – the director’s follow up to 2008s blockbuster The Dark Knight — has been building steam, quietly but surely, in the background for almost a year now with a very secretive and intriguing marketing campaign. With the film now just two months away, the campaign has picked up the pace with new posters and new trailers trickling out every week. Just recently, a third trailer has emerged for the film, finally explaining the plot behind the tag-line “your mind is the scene of the crime”. Simply put, it’s mesmerising. July 16th, care to hurry the hell up?
Here’s the new theatrical trailer:
Perhaps what’s most interesting about this trailer is the method it became available. So for those out of the loop, let’s start from the beginning…
The campaign for Inception began when a mysterious teaser trailer was released in August last year. Aside from a deep and ominous ‘BRRRRRROOOOM’ noise that underpins the soundtrack, something that almost subliminally became synonymous with the film after the release of the trailer was the close up of a strangely menacing spinning top. This spinning top made its way over to Inception’s teaser website where it slowly began decreasing in speed each day. On December 15th last year, it stopped. And things went viral.
A screenshot of the game ‘Mind Crime‘.
After it stopped spinning, the website linked to an online mini-game called ‘Mind Crime’, which first required you to draw a line on blank sketch pad from point A to point B. Once drawn, the sketch pad transforms into a top-down cityscape – much like the original Grand Theft Auto – and zooms into the place you marked point A where your controllable character awaits. The goal of the game is to run through the city and get to point B, avoiding these police-like characters who, once you enter their proximity, try to prevent you from reaching your goal by hitting and tackling you. If you successfully got to point B without being overwhelmed by the bad guys, you get to unlock a safe which at first contained an image of the principal Inception teaser poster. How’s THAT for genius marketing!
‘Mind Crime Stage 2‘ has revealed new
And that was only Stage 1. Coming online on April 3rd, Stage 2 of ‘Mind Crime’ is effectively a sequel of the first game, where instead of providing a basic top-down view of the cityscape, we get a third person view of the character as he runs through the city at street level (i.e. GTA3). The game is far more interactive than stage 1, with leader boards and the ability to use Facebook connect to share mazes and compete against your friends. While running around the city, billboards on the buildings showcase newly released production stills and posters for the film. Most importantly, however, the game allowed you to hide from the bad guys inside buildings, a number of which were theaters. Guess what’s playing on the big screen? Yep, the 2nd Inception trailer. As of May 7th, these screens were also used to release the feature trailer, which is embedded above.
There are still 2 potential stages of ‘Mind Crime’ left to be unveiled, if going by the greyed out spaces on the game’s website. Given that campaign already feels as though it’s in full swing — the film’s official site has finally launched, making it easier to find all promotional material — it’s hard to imagine what left they marketing team have to reveal in the coming months; a fourth trailer? Character posters? Perhaps some more faux crew interview videos like this one, a form of marketing known as a Alternate Reality Game (ARG).
Whatever is in store, you can rest assured knowing it’ll be all kinds of awesome.
Inception hits theaters across the globe (and in the architecture of your mind) on July 16th.