With just over one month remaining until Inception hits theaters, the viral campaign continues to heat up. Posters are now appearing with special QR, or “Quick Response” codes – leading savvy viewers to the latest phase of the film’s marketing.

Today, I was walking down the street by my Chicago apartment and noticed one of the posters. Inception has begun implanting the idea (see what I did there?) of mind crimes in the real-world – with warning posters like the one seen below.

The poster reminds me a bit of the District 9 “Humans Only” posters seen around major cities last year.

Each poster has a QR code and, upon decoding it, I was sent to a new website: What Is Dream Share? The site is an anonymous blog, in the fashion of conspiracy theories, as it attempts to figure out the mystery of the film’s core concept. While there are only two posts so far, and it mostly shares links to sites we’ve already seen, one is definitely new.

One of the articles on the blog discusses the origin of the device used to enter people’s minds in the film. Oddly enough, the process starts with toothpaste.

Read the article from the viral site for more information.

In addition, tin boxes with QR codes on top have been sent out to various journalists and industry people.

Inside the box is an Inception-labeled USB with the film’s 3rd trailer and a model of the spinning top (seen in the trailers). The QR code on the box directs recipients (with a decoder) to the film’s main viral site, Mind Crime.

Yet, nothing new happens.

The site has been around since the beginning of the film’s publicity turn – with four phases to complete. The first two led to new trailers and an interactive maze game, but we’re still awaiting the third phase.

Hopefully, all the new materials are a sign the next step is just around the corner.

Inception has been using QR codes to send intrigued followers to the film’s various viral sites – each site revealing more about the inner workings of Inception.

Back in April, at  WonderCon, t-shirts used the codes to promote a new site, www.pasivdevice.org – a virtual how-to guide for the Inception device.

While not everything presented in viral campaigns is essential to the  movie-going experience, they definitely help build anticipation – as well as offer rewarding insight into the final film.

Of course Nolan isn’t new to viral marketing – if you remember the The Dark Knight’s Harvey Dent campaign and Joker-inspired graffiti.

There are still two stages left in the Mind Crime website – of course the last may be the film itself. We will keep you updated whenever new phases arrive.

Is this viral campaign getting you intrigued? What’s your favorite viral campaign?

Inception releases in theaters and IMAX on July 16th, 2010

Source: Nolan Fans (for header photo)