The marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, the sequel to the hugely successful Batman Returns is simply brilliant. The only problem with it is that while the marketing firm is obviously trying to create brilliant viral ideas in the vein of I Love Bees and the Subservient Chicken, everything is happening so fast that nothing has a chance to catch on.

First there was the “I believe in Harvey Dent” campaign which showed the first snap of The Joker. Recently the website Why So Serious featured a smiling jack-o-lantern that gradually degraded on one side of it until this morning when it became a ransom like note. I saw at 7am this morning that a half dozen words had been spelled out. Tonight when I got home the message was revealed.

“The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.” Clicking on it shows yet another picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker (and damn if the lad doesn't look creepy).

Then there's a message telling people to dress up as the Joker and take a picture with as many of your friends near your city's most famous landmark. “Do this for me and I'll do this to for you.” the message tells us.

That leads you to a website called Rory's Death Kiss.

So what's next? A trailer? More pictures?

I'm excited about that…but I really don't think any of these ideas is going to be able to catch on virally. They're all happening too fast.

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