It’s practically de rigueur now for giant studio tent-poll pictures: The quasi-grassroots “viral” campaign that engages hardcore fans on either a virtual or actual scavenger hunt that ultimately results in the release of a highly conventional piece of marketing (i.e. a trailer, poster, featurette, etc.). This weekend it was The Amazing Spider-Man‘s turn to cook up some social media buzz for itself, via the Twitter account @scaleseeker that sent fans on the trail of The Lizard, a.k.a. Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a.k.a. the Big Bad of Sony Pictures’ reboot of the Spidey franchise. Let’s see what they were up to, and what they found!
A week ago, the account began tweeting factoids about reptiles (along with this silly gem: “Remember what our city was like before man/spider hybrids and gargantuan reptiles became a daily reality? It was booooring.”). Ultimately, it directed fans in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake city, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, Tampa, Minneapolis, and New Orleans to scour random park benches and manhole covers for ripped up lab coats, ID badges for Dr. Connors, and samples of reptilian skin (eeeewwww!). The New Orleans evidence apparently came with a real-live snake coiled around it, which is really going the extra mile.
The artifacts pointed to a new website for Connor’s employer, Oscorp Industries, and their
creepy exciting new internship program in their Animal Dynamics Lab, studying the “boundless adaptability” of reptiles:
At the bottom of the page for this video, fans found a strange collection of shapes vaguely suggesting the shape of a DNA double-helix. A little presto-chango reordering magic, and those shapes spelled out the word “Mutagen.” Which led us, finally, to…this standard featurette about Dr. Connors featuring interviews with Ifans and director Marc Webb, and a few new peeks at the CG villain. Whew!
The Oscorp Industries site is likely to have a few other fun easter eggs tucked inside it as The Amazing Spider-Man‘s July 3 release looms ever closer. But what do you make of all this herpetological scavenger hunting?