Thursday, February 5, 2009

Christian Bale Rant - A Case Study in Viral Marketing?

By now pretty much everybody on the Internet has heard Christian Bale's expletive-filled rant from the set of Terminator Salvation, where the Dark Knight actor delivers a four-minute verbal beat down on the Director of Photography for being a distraction during a take.

Want proof that everybody and their mother has heard the Christian Bale rant?


The above chart was taken using Google Trends. Marker "A" is the People's Choice Award, which took place on January 8, where Bale took home an award for his work in the latest Batman flick. Marker "B" is February 3, the date the rant was leaked onto the Internet. See that spike? That's 10X the normal search volume for the term "Christian Bale", all because of one profanity-laced tirade.

Of course, there are some crackpot theorists that claim this is all some elaborate

viral marketing campaign

for the new Terminator movie. Given the nature of the audio clip, this is rather unlikely (but of course, not impossible). It does, however, show you just how quickly an idea can spread like wildfire across the Internet. You just have to get a few people talking, and then BAM! That's viral, baby.