Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Dark Knight's viral campaign picks up a gear

The oddly named website, whysoserious.com has been the home of Warner Brothers Batman; Dark Knight's viral campaign. So far it has included fake campaign posters for one of the characters (District Attorney Harvey Dent aka 'Two Face') which was later deface by graffti, allegedly by The Joker, as well as a Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin with a Batsmile cut out of it, slowly rotting. Some of the site has required interaction, but not quite to the extent that it does now.

The site has instigated a treasure hunt that appears to take in 21 cities across the US. By clicking on the small cuttings (pic 2) you are asked to solve a clue, which requires the user to physically go and hunt the answer down, which is in the form of a letter it would seem. The letters i assume will spell out some Joker based nugget of info.

It's not rocket science, but i like the way in which it needs people from all over the States to get involved and move away from their computer to help solve the riddle. WB started their viral campaign quite some time ago, so anticipation is high and growing, thanks to this kind of thinking.


"Up, up in the air, like my beautiful advertising campaign......" It's not quite got the same ring to it, but Ad Air claim to have taken OOH (Out Of Home) advertising one step further by pasting enormous ground posters onto fields that are adjacent to airport runways. The advertisements are approximately 3 times the size of a standard football pitch (about 315x210m) so big then, and as everyone knows, once you've had to turn off your iPod you're pretty much dedicated to trying to spot where your Nan lives out of the window, so all in all, quite a nifty idea. Not cheap though, as the first spot that was launched in Dubai went for a tasty £80,000..... Check out Reuters report (PS: Watch out for the guys suit collars.... )

Augmented Sculpture... (or Tron Cubes as i like to call them)

Pablo Valbuena, an artist based in Madrid (i think) has constructed a sculpture that explores space, time and the relationship between the two.... apparently. All i can really say is to watch the video, it's quite hypnotic. I'm not bright enough to discuss whether it does what he thinks it does, but from a design/aesthetic point of view, i think it's wondefull. Check out his sight here, for more info.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

My-Skype anyone?

Not quite breaking news, as I've meant to write this for about a week, but Skype and MySpace are about to combine their services. This November, MySpace (owned by News Corporation) will add Skype (owned by Ebay) to their instant-messenger software, allowing users to text chat with each other. The most recent version of the software will also allow MySpacer's to make free Internet phone calls to anyone on the Skype network.

It sounds like the perfect fit, Skype is really popular with an estimated 220 million users (majority outside of the US) and there is an overlap with 6.7% using both Aps. However MySpace allows a certain amount of anonymity, as well as providing a sense of security (it's on-line, not face to face), so will people be so keen to take that one step closer to their on-line family?

Whatever happens, it's good news for Ebay as they announced only recently that they think they may have paid $1 Billion dollars over the odds for Skype..... oops.

WOW+Second Life=Blue Mars

I'm no good at sums (that's 'Math' for our stateside readers), however i imagine there have been a few people trying to figure what result you'd get if you put World of Warcraft and Second Life together in a blender.... Well maybe the answer is Blue Mars. No, it's not a limited edition chocolate bar, it's a soon to be released a virtual world, that hopes to combine the on-line games aspect with Second Lifes community/social bonding.

It's made by a company called Avatar Reality (based in Honolulu, nice) who have based the game on a 'Terraformed Mars' enabling folk to live out the sci-fi dreams, meet some aliens and generally play at being the Jetsons. Technically, it's being aimed at the high end PC users who have quad core processors and nuclear powered graphics cards, so no logging in at work then. Theres currently no mention of user generated content and apparently it will have a basic narrative too, so it sounds little more WOW.

Time will tell though, but i think the idea of (virtually) living in the future, which is richly rendered to look like Half-Life, will be very popular, plus the fact that you have to have high end equipment, is going to appeal to the geeks who pride themselves on being that little bit more nerdy than everybody else. An elite virtual world, where only the uber-tech's live? Sounds like a not too distant future if you ask me.....

There will be a preview of Blue Mars at E for ALL in LA over the next couple of days, check the website for further news.

I CAN'T STAND YOU.... now join my group.

I'm quite mild mannered and normally reserve my distaste for people, for drunken conversations and slightly overzealous slide tackles on a Sunday afternoon, but now, thanks to some devlish Germans, i can generate a Hatebook account and tell the world about my my least favourite folk.

With features including 'Why I'm better than You' and 'Hate Albums', together with other features not included on Facebook such as a geographical locator, courtesy of Google Earth, so you can track down the people you really despise.

One thing to remember before you jump on board and start your vitriolic rants, is that its not private, anyone can see your posts, so a pseudonym may be a good idea....

Friday, 12 October 2007

Adobe takes on Apples iMovie

Adobe, in all their wonderfulness, have released a light version of Adobe Premier, which is basically what iMovie used to be before Apple decided to take out all the good stuff. It's PC only, which is a slight shame, however Adobe have admitted that Apples own reduced version of Final Cut put them off. However if its popular, I'm sure a MAC version will not be far away. I'm going to write and see if i can get a beta version to test, so i'll keep you posted. Check out a full review over at PC World

The zombies are coming, the zombies are coming!

The best thing about viral marketing is that if done correctly, the bloggers and their Internet buddies will do the PR for you. Just look at the way that JJ Abrams new film has gone global, before its even been given a proper name. It's currently known as '1-18-08' or 'Clovefield' and has the Internet buzzing with rumours thanks to a cleverly shot trailer followed swiftly by a small website, ripe for analysis by the Internet hordes.

John Frank Rosenblum, executive producer of Alive, is hoping for a bit more than some decent PR, he's after a whole TV series and channel to distribute it too. Epic Level Entertainment decided to avoid the costly business of making a multi million dollar pilot only to see the series canceled before the theme tune kicks in. They shot 3 small viral videos and set up a number of websites, such as Falcon Rock Command and Science Cannot Save You, that helped increase the buzz amongst sci-fi/zombie nuts.

It's the perfect way of presenting your concept or brand by generating a buzz first with your target audience. It's already got people talking on forums, as they explore the videos for clues about the storyline etc. The main website Falcon Rock Command is releasing a full video preview next week, which apparently will answer a lot of questions, but until then, check out their 2nd viral below.

I hope it gets picked up by a network, but if it doesn't i wonder if it would work as a strictly web only series, with enough support behind it i can't see why not.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Toyota goes all WOW

I imagine a lot of agencies have been scratching their heads about how best to target the 8 million users in World of Warcraft. Now I'm not sure that your average WOW user will be the same kind of person to go and buy a Toyota 4x4 but kudos, for doing something a bit different, even it is a watered down version of the famous Leroy Jenkins clip.... Check out Toyota's effort below

Now here comes Leroy.....

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The IT Crowd - Anti Piracy Ad

Not really related to anything, i just think it's hilarious....

Dove Onslaught

Ogilvy's follow up to the award winning 'Evolution' was presented by Steve Hayden, vice chairman of Dove agency Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, during an Advertising Week conference on so-called "Passionistas" (new research sponsored by Yahoo and MediaVest about the empowered consumers who spread information online.... like me). Evolution is a pretty hard act to follow and 'Onslaught' is probably not as clever as it thinks it is, flashing up images of hot girls and uncomfortable pics of plastic surgery, reminds me a little of film scenes where people are 'reprogrammed'. However, it does make a good point very well, you can't argue with that.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Steam Punk offices

The very talented guys over at Because We Can were asked to design the entire office interior for a games company called Three Rings, who look like they all wish they worked for Captain Nemo. All the desks and features were tailor made and the employees were able to design their own work stations. It might not be to everyone's tastes, but i love the almost toy like aspect to it and it suits the company down to the ground. They also make a flat-pack couch, although how comfy it is I'm not sure.

Check out all the photos here