One of the many charms of Comic-Con is the viral marketing. While films as far back as Spielberg’s 2001 opus, A.I. Artificial Intelligence have employed this technique, the advent of iPhone’s and web 2.0 technology has expanded these games from webrings to include real life citywide scavenger hunts. Possibly the best run and most exciting of which was at Comic-Con last year for Tron Legacy. Read all about it here.
Today, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in order to participate in this year’s version. Read on for a summary of the fun and a peek at the swag.
To play, fans must follow a twitter feed that has been giving out locations all around the con where flyers with Tron images have been posted. With each twitter update the game turns into a mad dash as the players race to each stop, taking pictures of the posters before sprinting to a second location where the first 32 to arrive receive light disc replicas packed with a 2 gigabyte memory card and two precious wristbands that grant access to Flynn’s arcade for a special event.
My adventure began as I returned from Hall H for a quick lunch before diving back into interviews. Those interviews never happened because as I passed Flynn’s Arcade on 6th and J I noticed an advertisement for the “Operation Tron” twitter behind a large group of well dressed security guards. I asked one if the rumors of a secret Daft Punk show were true and if so, how I might hope to gain entrance. He looked at me sternly and said, “Follow the twitter feed.”
Back at the hotel room I saw that the first location had just been issued, and what luck, only two blocks from where I was sitting. Unfortunately, I had already missed my chance. Luckily, the Tron fanatics also waiting on the corner, identifiable by their uniform of techie gear and “Flynn Lives!” tees were more than happy to share their intel. About twenty minutes later the second location was revealed and it was off again.
I sprinted three-quarters of a mile with my laptop in tow and somehow made it to the very front of the line. I even beat most of the die hards. After checking my ID and making sure that I actually took a photo at the first location, I was gifted with what looks to be the hottest item at comic-con, a ticket to the ultra exclusive Tron Legacy event tonight at the arcade.
As with last year, Disney has recreated Flynn’s arcade from the original Tron feature as a marketing tool for the sequel. The first appearance of the arcade boasted a room full of classic arcade games that lead to a backroom reveal of the new light cycles. No doubt this year will bring new and exciting surprises.
While we couldn’t find a way to load the flash memory card as we don’t have the right adapter, look for images and a complete roundup of tonight’s viral event later! And if you are in San Diego and want to attend, follow this twitter feed right now!
For more Comic-Con coverage, click here.