Set in a dystopian future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population, one man’s effort to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with hidden forces that control the world. This is the official description for the sci-fi thriller Branded looks to unlock the very conspiracy featured in the film. Thanks to a proactive reader of the site, we now have much more to go on. Get the details after the break.

So far, the viral campaign has stuck to mostly QR codes and cryptic emails about the conspiracy, and all we’ve really gotten is the film’s official website and a new clip. Fortunately, MovieViral reader Louis Collins discovered a pattern in the QR code URLs. You can put in different numbers into the URL (just replace the X’s) and get a lot more content, all redirected through the Branded website. Below is a breakdown of what we found so far. All the ads are for fake companies, and anything not hosted on the film’s website is notated.

001 – Photo of bus ad for the (fake) Russian television reality series “Extreme Cosmetika”.
003 – Article about KFC’s Double Down Sandwich being the unhealthiest sandwich ever. [FiveThirtyEight]
004 – Wikipedia page for Subliminal Advertising, specifically the “Academics” section. [Wikipedia]
005 – Index page for links on Sylphs and Chemtrails. [Educate Yourself]
006 – Link dump of articles on Bilderberg 2012, which you can learn about objectively here. [Infowars]
007 – Image from film with Ed Stoppard’s character Misha Galkin receiving a European Ad Award.
008 – “Achtung airlines” ad image, where the captain and flight attendants are all plump.
009 – Foreign ad image for “Burgers”, as featured in the film’s trailer.
010 – A weird ad image for Adidas parody “Obbidas”.
011 – Countdown to “next layer of the conspiracy” on July 12th.
012 – Pretty badass poster size promotional image for the film.
013 – Russian commercial for “Extreme Cosmetika”.
014 – Ad image for something called “LA Alligator”.
015 – Close-up photo of a kid eating a big burger.
016 – Another ad for “Obbidas”.
017 – Nude plump lady on an ad for “H&D” (a cosmetics company).
018 – Foreign ad for “Soda Soda”, featuring a plump girl.
019 – Ad for “Vipsache”, featuring a plump couple (noticing a trend?).
020 – Commercial for Death Cow Disease beef tester using the fake commercial in the film’s trailer.
021 – Commercial for sterile diapers (pretty funny).
022 – Stylish ad images for Apple-like company “Yepple”.
023 – More “Yepple” ads.
024 – Cool still from the film, which would make a good Facebook banner.
025 – Another rainy still from the film.
026 – Clip from the film involving cows.
027 – Poster for the film.
030 – The film’s trailer.
034 – Another ad for H&D.
035 – Another ad for H&D.
036 – Creepy film still.
041 – Clip from film that showcases how fat people have gotten.
050 – Branded Facebook page. [Facebook]
056 – An image of packaged salmon from “Shellfish” company that looks…odd (Spill raised?).
057 – An image of canned tuna that has “real drilled flavor”.
058 – A still from the film.
070 – An article claiming The Denver International Airport is evil. [Vigilant Citizen]
082 – A still from the film with Misha blindfolded.
083 – Another film still featuring Misha.
089 – Ad image for HealthHealth.
091 – Ad image for “GiantSoft” (Microsoft parody) featuring a baby with a QR code on its forehead.
092 – Ad image for “GiantSoft” (Microsoft parody) featuring a baby touching a QR code.
093 – Ad image for “GiantSoft” (Microsoft parody) featuring a baby with a QR code on its forehead (faded).
094 – Chart of popular websites and their stances on privacy. [EFF]
096 – Ad image for “The Burger” featuring a nice big belly.
097 – Another ad for “The Burger”, this time with a kid.

Many of the URLs link back to the 011 code page, the Branded Facebook, or the same image featured at a lower number, so I tried not to include all of those. However, they become active down the road.

So, what does this all mean? There’s three goals that I see in this bevy of content. First, there is the regular marketing component, like the Facebook page, trailer, movie stills, and other promotional images. Second, there’s the in-world fake ads. These are clearly meant to show us that this world has made it acceptable, if not preferable, to be fat. The trailer alludes to this as well, as these sinister invisible forces want people to be plump. The reason is not yet known, but I’m sure that’s a major plot point in the film. Third, we have the links to real websites. These are meant to show us that this dystopian future is possible.

The bigger question is, why was it so easy to find all of these links? Was it intentional, or did we just put a dent in Roadside Attractions’ plans to slowly unveil this content leading up to the film’s September 7th theatrical release? Hopefully we’ll know about their plans on July 12th, when the countdown ends. This happens to be the first day of Comic-Con, so I’ll be on the lookout during my on-location coverage.

By Dan Koelsch

Dan Koelsch is our Executive Editor and in charge of Advertising and Promotions. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Radio TV Film from California State University Fullerton, with a Minor in Advertising. He's a diehard Trekkie and a big Superman fan. has been reacquired by its original founders.

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