9. A.I: Artificial Intelligence
What started as an innocuous fake credit in a couple of film trailers turned into a labyrinthine web of storytelling. A story of murder, sentient intelligence, and a future that was as compelling as it was horrifying. Developed by a team at Microsoft, the A.I. viral marketing campaign was the first Alternate Reality Game to immerse its players in the world of the film. This campaign took the Blair Witch campaign's treatment of the film's reality as the "real" one, and went one step above that effort by actively engaging the movie going public to solve the mysteries and familiarize themselves with the world they would soon experience in theaters. How effective this campaign was in selling the actual film is a tricky proposition to engage, as the game's timeline is set 16 years after that of the film itself. What's more, while the player was immersed in the world of the film, they weren't introduced to the characters they'd be spending time with in the film. Still, it was another critical step in the evolution of movie marketing, as audiences were continually being asked to come out and play. The world building the campaign actually did was invaluable, as was the progress it made for viral movie marketing and ARGs to become viable promotion strategies.