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What: Social Media/Blogging Grassroots Campaign for the indie film based on the bestselling novel, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

How: Created and managed the Dragon Tattoo Blog Hunt where ‘players’ followed clues around the internet to ‘solve’ a mystery and receive prizes: a Barnes & Noble Nook, exclusive and film-inspired jewelry, movie tickets, copies of the bestselling book the film is based on, the soundtrack and posters.

Who: Top bloggers representing niched topics discussed in the film such as tattoos, genealogy, Apple/Mac, violence against women and more shared their unique perspective of the movie, making a word of mouth recommendation to their loyal reader base. *see blogger list below

Why: To promote the movie in a way that empowered bloggers and their readers with good content, thus fortifying their relationship, while marketing the movie not to general audiences but to clearly defined and multiple targeted markets.

The results:

  • 11 top blogs covering a wide and varied span of topics
  • Combined monthly unique views of the 11 blogs: 2.5 million
  • Website built and designed using WordPress software in one week
  • Site launched with a 3.8 million Alexa rank, dropped to 400K in 3 weeks (at 250K in 8 weeks, at 194K in 10 weeks)
  • Put the ‘official site’ into the hands of reviewers from major publications (NY Times, WSJ, Huffington Post, etc.)
  • Blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts managed/written/published
  • Partnered with nationally recognized leaders including: Barnes & Noble, RAINN, After Ellen, TUAW and more
  • During the contest, 500 people completed the contest, reading all 11 blog posts (apparently this took over an hour).


The social media campaign for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was created as a grassroots effort to engage communities in niched topics that 1) aren’t normally inundated by recommendations for books or movies (ie. movie and book review sites), and 2) have established and strong blogger/reader relationships.

The film is a mystery featuring two unlikely protagonists finding clues to its solution. As such, the campaign was a Blog Hunt wherein the ‘players’ followed clues around the internet to ‘solve’ a mystery and receive prizes: a Barnes & Noble nook, movie tickets, copies of the bestselling book the film is based on, the soundtrack and more.

From the reader’s perspective, they trust and are consistently interested in their bloggers recommendations, opinions and thoughts. On March 10th, their favorite bloggers – writing about genealogy or writing or careers, etc. – introduced them to a very cool movie in the context of the topic they love and on which they look forward to their bloggers providing information.

From the bloggers perspective, I asked the bloggers not to write a movie review, but to write a post about the film within the context of their topic. For example, RAINN wrote about sexual violence and referenced the issues that watching this movie could have on a survivor and how they could cope; TUAW wrote about product placement of Apple products in a movie that showcased the best hackers in the world using MacBook Pros; the Vanishing Tattoo wrote about tattoo symbolism and what tattoos really mean to the people that are inked; and ProBlogger wrote about hacking and internet security.

For the purposes of blogger relations and out of deep respect for bloggers, I provided the bloggers with benefits:

  • Enhancing their current community
  • Good content
  • Increased traffic
  • Being part of the new community forming around the film and the contest
  • Exposure/Press as a result of a successful campaign (which is being written up by several high profile social media/marketing sites)

The Bloggers and their posts:

Next up? A new campaign coming July 2010 for the U.S. release of The Girl Who Played With Fire