Another kind of marketing

A marketing ploy for the new Leonardo DiCaprio release Inception blurs the line between a film and its publicity.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception.
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It's just over a month until the US release of Inception, a sci-fi action movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio that's expected to be one of this summer's biggest movies. But unlike most prospective blockbusters which have plot details drip fed to bloggers and film journalists for months prior to release, Inception has remained shrouded in secrecy. The mystique surrounding the film has grown in recent days, after Warner Brothers sent a number of crumpled Dream-Share: Tactical Employment Procedures manuals, covered in black ink and stamped "classified" to members of the media.

The fittingly original marketing campaign (which never directly names the film) mystified a number of writers, who posted photos of the documents online. Several commenters managed to solve the riddle by noticing similarities between the wording of the document's chapters and snippets of dialogue from Inception's trailer. The official synopsis for the film refers to DiCaprio's character "stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state" and ends with the promise: "This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime."

As well as huge blocks of blacked-out text, the documents include puzzling images of scientific experiments, warfare scenarios and even a garden maze. The seven chapters are headed Specialists/Operatives, Environment Creation, The Dream/Waking World Relationship, The Hostile Subconscious, Warfare in the Dream and Interrogation Techniques. One of the document's recipients, Brendan Bettinger from, gave the predictably confused response: "I like the pretty pictures, but it's all way over my head."