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Doritos iD3 – innovative NPD, brand as entertainer, and my latest project : )

27 Jul

I have been working alongside Initials on a really exciting campaign to support the launch of Doritos iD3: a limited edition mystery flavour. The alphanumeric name and mysterious black packaging invites consumers to guess the mystery flavour at for the chance to win a chuffing £20K reward.


But guessing the flavour is just the beginning…

iD3 is not only an original product launch. It is also a three-part episodic online adventure for Doritos fans which uniquely blends film and gaming (starring Layer Cake’s Tamer Hassan). The iD3 adventure allows fans to become the hero in their very own ‘choose your own adventure’. Set in London’s shady underworld, the player goes undercover to help unlock the truth behind a mysterious case of mistaken identity, with huge prizes to be won along the way. Check out our thrilling trailer…

Doritos is no stranger to inviting consumers to play with the brand, and the iD3 advergame delivers just this by putting consumers in the driving seat of their very own personalised adventure. And the mystery flavour is a unique product innovation which will no doubt get consumers talking and engaging with the brand on a deeper level.

The adventure itself pushes the boundaries of technology. Each adrenalin-filled episode blends slick live action footage with 3D interaction, giving the whole experience a distinct high-production cinematic feel. The advergame is uniquely integrated with Facebook Connect, which enables a more personalised experience for Doritos fans by dynamically inserting content from your Facebook profile into the film. It also pushes c0ntent out to Facebook, as a result making the game more social.

We’ve created a number of secret levels and experiences (including the Konami Code) for experienced gamers (not me then…).

Even the support for the campaign is shrouded in mystery – with grassroots seeding and an exclusive blogger outreach programme. A live Twitter feed and Facebook fan page will keep Doritos fans up-to-date with the adventure.

The campaign has only recently launched, and yet Doritos iD3 is already gaining attention on blogs, forums, reviews, and of course Twitter. What’s more, there is high engagement on our Facebook fan page, with hundreds of fans guessing the mystery flavour. It just goes to show that the best ideas are the simple ones, and like Walkers ‘Do us a Flavour‘, they come across as somewhat obvious. Although in reality finding and creating them takes great understanding and insights.  And the activation of the idea has to be engaging and involving.

To guess the mystery flavour and play the game, you’ll need to pick up a special pack of Doritos iD3 – each pack code gives you 6 lives. Seeing as I’m a part of this little project, I do have a few free player codes I’m willing to give away to my readers  (though you can’t win prizes with my dummy codes).

Comments and feedback encouraged as always…


Penguin tell stories in today’s media mix culture

3 Apr

What happens when you combine classic literature together with Google Earth, Blogging, Twitter, and a splash of alternate reality gaming? Well, you get Penguin’s uber cool new campaign “We Tell Stories”.

Penguin are no longer simply telling stories in books, they are telling stories across a multitude of media platforms in a unique and immersive storytelling experience. Probably a good example of transmedia storytelling.

Six top authors are re-writing popular Penguin classics, but with today’s media mix culture in mind.

The first story “The 21 Steps” [inspired by The 39 Steps], is an adventure designed for Google Maps API. Penguin are being creative with smart technology.



The second story “Slice” [based on The Haunted Doll’s House] takes place across multiple blogs and follows the characters on Twitter. If you want to get deeply immersed, you can even email them.


The third story “Fairy Tales” is not any old fairy tale; it is in fact your very own fairy tale. You pick the characters names, and choose their paths, and once complete you can even write your own epilogue. I imagine this is fitting for a slightly younger audience – who frequently fight their own battles for expressive freedom and for the right to play with technology.

The next three stories are available over the following weeks. Look out for the next story 7th April, based on the classic Thérèse Raquin.

The final leg of this campaign is a secret [or not so secret?] seventh story featuring “a vaguely familiar girl who has a habit of getting herself lost.” Intrigued? I am. This is where it gets really exciting. What’s most exciting about the final story, is that it will break beyond the browser and clues will appear online, but also in the real-world. Yes, the real world is waking up. I imagine this will be high-involvement, but players they will have the chance to win some big prizes, including over £13,000 worth of the greatest books ever written. Steep reading…

It’s great to see brands engaging in new and exciting ways. A brilliantly entertaining campaign. As ever, the forums are going wild with speculation – everyone knows something, no-one knows everything – so they all share together and collective intelligence emerges.

Penguin have developed this campaign in partnership with alternate reality games company SixtoStart [creators of the popular ARG Perplex City]. They have hinted we need to “look out for the bunny”, whatever that means…


The Loch Ness Monster is loose in Tokyo!

13 Feb

Okay, well not the real Loch Ness monster…now that would just be silly wouldn’t it!

The Loch Ness monster has surfaced in Tokyo Bay – created using a water screen and water jets. This is the latest in movie marketing gimmicks, this time to promote The Water Horse. So are movie promotions getting more exciting or just over hyped?

We all enjoyed the ARG campaign for Cloverfield movie, and the hype has indeed made it a box office success, but if you read the reviews they tend to start something along the lines of… “it was never going to live up to the hype”. The films ‘herky-jerky’ camera work requires a lot of commitment from the audience, and it’s just not everybody’s cup of tea.

Before a movie hits the big screen, it’s tricky business striking a balance between sparking genuine buzz and generating over hype in movie marketing. Nonetheless, it’s a tough industry to crack and I’m thoroughly enjoying the innovative and often brave campaigns we are beginning to engage with.

Consumers are demanding more and more and are living in a highly charged media mix culture. Let’s face it, we’re bored with flashy movie websites with wallpapers and screensavers. That all seems all a bit lame now. As our expectations rise, I expect nothing less than real world Loch Ness monsters, complicated hunts across multiple platforms, and even bloody limbs in public places. Are you excited? I am…

ARG entertainment for The Dark Knight: I love this shit

1 Feb


I love this shit! Warner Bros have gone all out with their ARG style campaign for the new Batman movie ‘Dark Knight’. The story travels across a bevy of sites including the The Gotham Times, this game, and the official Wiki amongst others. But there’s more! This story unfolds across a multitude of media platforms and travels into the real world. The cross media nature of this viral has catapulted ARG into the mainstream culture.

Players in the US were encouraged to visit 22 real world addresses to collect a treat under the name “Robin Banks”. Nice. The Joker had left cakes at bakeries with phone numbers written on them in icing. It gets better…when ringing the number the cake itself rang! In the cake was an evidence bag with a mobile phone and charger, a joker playing card, and a note with another number on it.

The note reads…

“Wow. You really took the cake! Now put the icing on it. Call [number] immediately from this phone and this phone only. Do not give this phone number to anyone else.

Let’s hope your fellow goons come through as well as you. Once all the layers are in place, you’ll all get your just desserts. I’m a man of my word.”

Text message reads…

“Good work, clown! Keep this phone charged and with you at all times. Don’t call me. I will call you … eventually.”

Brilliant huh?! More and more stories are travelling across multiple media platforms and offering a deeply engaging experience which is only possible in today’s media mix culture. But with so many layers, the consumer base becomes smaller as you are asking a lot of people’s time and imagination. For the casual consumer, are Warner Bros asking too much? And for the superfan, maybe they are asking too little? While this is probably too involved for most of us – those superfans get one hellova reward what with mobile phones, invitations to IMAX screenings, and ultimate bragging rights.

Having worked on two very similar campaigns – identifying the balance between meeting the fan community’s expectations and still remaining accessible to the casual consumer is very difficult. But if the objective is to create an entertaining experience for brand advocates who will spread the word, then it’s probably pretty successful. There may only be 22 key players, but how many more people are talking about it (as I am doing now)? How many are participating? And how many are listening? As with the Guinness Tipping ARG campaign, we are beginning to see fans group together in online knowledge cultures to gather information as well as wildly speculate. There are over 100 pages of speculation on this Guinness ARG forum, very interesting read!

The movie arrives in the US July 18th – let’s hope the movie is as much fun as this teaser…

More brilliant speculation here, here, and here


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