Saturday, April 3, 2010

Catching the TRON Virus [Wondercon]

San Francisco was the chilly place to be tonight when an Encom press conference was interrupted by protesters proclaiming that "FLYNN LIVES."

The fever started earlier that day when WonderCon-goers who weren't already part of Disney's viral marketing campaign for Tron Legacy were handed flyers outside of the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. The paper called for TRON fans to "infiltrate the Encom Press Conference" and infiltrate they did -- sort of.

With Bruce Boxleitner taking the stage in the persona of Alan Bradley, the audience assembled in Justin Herman Plaza was treated to a once-in-lifetime speech that outlined the company's plans for an online version of Space Paranoids. But it seems as though Disney's event hit a few snafus along the way. In the middle of his speech, Bradley looked towards the sky as a helicopter, emblazoned with the Encom symbol flew overhead and... nothing happened. With no infiltration of any sort rearing its head, Bradley completed his speech to the hoots and hollers of TRON fans just excited to hear the name "Kevin Flynn" again. (That and Boxleitner's momentary impression of Jeff Bridges' Flynn by way of Bradley, made the night worth it.) But the moment felt empty.

And that's when it happened. An Encom publicist took the stage and was interrupted by a motley crew of sign-carrying protesters who screamed "Flynn lives!" They raised their FLYNN LIVES shirts with pride and -- for reasons unknown to this intrepid reporter except for a strong suspicion of cross-promotionalism -- one wielded a life-size version of Captain America's shield. He threw it at no one.

A short speech later and the well-behaved infiltration was out of the way, the protesters safely off the brightly-stage, and fans looking forward to an amazing cap on the evening were left loudly wondering the likes of, "Wait, was that it? No, seriously, I'm cold. Let's go."

Fortunately though, the Encom helicopter soon returned and after a few fly-overs a parachutist leapt out, landing safely behind the stage -- an amazing feat considering the high winds that had likely thwarted earlier attempts at his parachuting down were still in effect and freezing TRON fans all over.

Despite the cold and the hiccups, I have to give Disney a lot of credit for orchestrating such a fun and creative viral campaign. Woe that I didn't make it to the pre-meeting which reportedly prepped people for the campaign against Encom. However, I did arrive in time to find that it concluded with the giving of free FLYNN LIVES t-shirts, TRON posters, and Space Paranoids pins. And while I refuse to unroll the poster until I'm safely back in NYC -- seriously, me and rolling posters don't mix -- I can show you a pic of the pin... as well as all the footage I snagged of the TRON viral event.

That's right, witness Bradley's speech for yourself! As well as a special intro by GLADOS (a.k.a our own EruditeChick) and the spectacle created by first the infiltrators and then the parachutist, who I'm fairly certain was not named Henry Gale no matter what he might say.
Please excuse the subtle shakes of the camera; in case I haven't made it clear already, I was really cold. I think I caught a TRON virus.

** Stay tuned next week TRON fans! We may have gotten our hands on an extra TRON goodie to share with one lucky winner. **

Part One

Part Two


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