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Watching the Watchmen Marketing Campaign

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Let’s pause for a moment to imagine what life will be like on March 6th, 2009. President Obama/Clinton/McCain/Nader will have just settled into office, ushering in a new era of optimism and prosperity. TV viewers will be riveted by the new season of Heroes, only to have it cruelly cut short by the Screen Actors Guild strike of ’08. And geeks everywhere will flock to a film by the director of 300, based on arguably the greatest graphic novel ever written: Watchmen.

In a move that will either stoke your interest (or build you up for a crushing disappointment), Zack Snyder and the team behind Watchmen have launched an official video journal chronicling every aspect of the film’s production a full 11 months before its release.

Of course, this sort of marketing approach
is getting more and more commonplace these days — its a way to
both stave off leaks and to make fans feel as if they’re included on
the filmmaking process. (No one consulted us on  Catwoman , and look what happened.) In the case of Watchmen, even with “Mr. 300″ involved, it
can’t hurt to hardsell your audience on a violent superhero story set
during the 1980s. Sure, most of these “official video journals” are
basically glorified DVD extras, but it sure beats a ton of fake viral marketing websites, as with the Dark Knight

So far everything about Watchmen, from its cast to the production design lifted directly from Dave Gibbons’ comic book panels, is right on point. A few of the costumes lean a tad in the Mystery Men direction, but there’s every indication that Watchmen
could be the first completely successful adaptation of Alan Moore’s
work. (Though he’ll still probably refuse to watch it.) Now if you’ll
excuse me, I’m going to take a nice long nap until 2009.

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