Disney Bows Interactive, Clue-Packed Trailer For 'National Treasure' Flick

Actor Nicolas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a modern-day Indiana Jones in search of historically valuable treasures in the upcoming Touchstone Pictures adventure flick "National Treasure." While the film isn't out until November 24, the trailer is running exclusively on Yahoo! Movies, and is packed with interactive clues to build buzz for the movie.

The trailer debuts with Disney's SmarTrailer technology, which enables viewers to interact with specific areas of interest by clicking on an icon as the trailer plays. The trailer for "National Treasure" broke Monday on Yahoo! Movies, and continues its exclusive run today before hitting other movie and entertainment sites on Wednesday. Yahoo! Movies attracts 10 million unique visitors per month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The trailer hits theaters on Wednesday in front of the Spiderman 2 movie.

Within the "National Treasure" trailer, nine windows lead viewers to one-minute information pods that address specific topics related to the film, the historical facts behind the story, and the filmmaking process. In the "The Treasure is Real" section, there is expert testimony from professional treasure hunters W.J. Jameson and author Mark Finnan about the treasures the Founding Fathers may have buried. The "Knights of Templar" section discusses the wealth amassed by the secretive medieval band of knights and where it might have gone after they fled Europe. Other pods cover such topics as "Benjamin Franklin," "The Money Pit," "The Freemasons," "The Clues Around Us," "The Declaration of Independence," "Secrets and Spies," and "Real Locations." In the movie, Cage's character searches for a treasure the Founding Fathers left that no one believes existed. He races against time to decipher clues within symbols on the U.S. dollar bill and the Declaration of Independence, among others, to solve the mystery. Oren Aviv, president of marketing for Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, called the new interactive trailer "the perfect marriage of technology infrastructure and content."

"We obviously think because this movie appeals to everyone, a lot of folks will learn about it online. We're big fans of online marketing; it's a great way to reach people," Aviv said, adding that "National Treasure" marks one of the unit's more aggressive uses of online marketing. He declined to elaborate on a dollar figure for online media.

Buena Vista's in-house Web group designed the SmarTrailer program.

"This is the first time we are using this technology with a trailer," Aviv said. "In addition to watching the trailer on Yahoo! Movies, we're providing about 10 minutes' worth of content that you can access via the trailer."

"The reason why we used SmarTrailer on this movie is because this is a movie that kind of allows for digging into the clues and finding out more information--it made a lot of sense to do it with this movie," Aviv noted. "It's really almost interactive programming."

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