There Sony is trying two different approaches to use weblogs for promoting the movie (via pointblog.com and Martin Roell):
First there is a group weblog, written by three production assistants during the time the film was shot. Nice idea, but it only contains postings from April and May 2003 and there are probably not many people who are interested in a weblog with content that is nearly a year old...
The second approach looks much more promising: Users of Blogger and Live Journal can download templates and graphics to bring the Spiderman look and feel to their weblogs.
I think, that's a pioneering idea with great potential !! And here is why...
It is not really new to provide devoted fans and customers with digital giveaways, which let them customize their personal environment. Sony is also doing this with the usual stuff: wallpapers, screensavers or buddy icons.
But from a marketers point of view there is a problem with that: most of these elements are only visible to the fan himself. Wouldn't it be a lot better, if he could instead show his affection to the outside world - or at least to friends & family ?
Weblogs can solve this problem perfectly !
They usually use templates and stylesheets, which are as easy to change as the ringtone of a mobile or the desktop picture of a pc. Within seconds the whole weblog can be temporarily turned into a giant ad for the blogger's favorite brand !!
And one that is really hard to overlook while still being relatively unintrusive and also very authentic. Because it is not really an ad. It is more an endorsement by a person who's opinion is obviously of some interest to the people who are reading his weblog...
So for brands with very devoted customers, weblog templates and stylesheets can become really interesting agents for viral marketing and a very efficient way to complement an online branding campaign.
By the way, if you have any doubt that this works, just pay a short visit to the weblog of Jason Shellen - he clearly got infected !! ;-)