Cracked Code Goes Viral
Has viral marketing become so complex that it could start with the delivery of one cryptic note on a subway car? The users of Reddit seem to think so, and for the most part their theories are sound. Recently, a Reddit user named Delverofsecrets posted a photo of a small piece of paper with a code written on it; a gift apparently bestowed upon him by a “homeless-looking man” on the 1 train in New York City. Along with the coded message, he was handed a 50-dollar bill. Reddit users quickly deciphered the code, which read: “There’s plenty more money to make figure this out and prepare to meet july 19 fifty sixth and sixth hot dog stand outside rue57 cafe ask for mister input.”
Soon after, a new Reddit user, claiming to be Mr. Input, presented another code, which was also soon deciphered and read: “YOU HAVE MANAGED TO FIND THE MESSAGE WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS. YOU CHANGED THE RULES NOW SO WILL I. JULY TWELVE FOUR PM. FIND THE BLUE JAY AT SIX AND A HALF AND FIFTY SIXTH AND TELL HIM YOU ARE THE LAST.”
Following this message, one Reddit user commented, “conveniently located at 156 56th street? Gotham Skincare. looking more and more like a Dark Knight Rises marketing scheme every second.” Another user commented in the date presented in the first message, saying that it was the day before the release of The Dark Knight Rises. None of this is a stretch, seeing as the previous installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, The Dark Knight, was notorious for it’s viral marketing campaigns.
If all of this was, in fact, an attempt at viral marketing – it worked. Delverofsecrets, the Reddit user who was handed the note on the subway, followed the instructions of the second message (which had changed the meeting date to a week earlier than the first), and so did more than 150 other interested parties, attracting the attention of the police and the media.
Even if this wasn’t a viral marketing campaign attached to The Dark Knight Rises, it has become one, if only because the conspiracy nerds on Reddit, like us, have made it so.
What do you think?