WIRED MAGAZINE has a very interesting and in depth article in ISSUE 16.01, called Secret Websites, Coded Messages: The New World of Immersive Games. Below you will find a short excerpt:
On February 10, 2007, the first night of Nine Inch Nails’ European tour, T-shirts went on sale at a 19th-century Lisbon concert hall with what looked to be a printing error: Random letters in the tour schedule on the back seemed slightly boldfaced. Then a 27-year-old Lisbon photographer named Nuno Foros realized that, strung together, the boldface letters spelled “i am trying to believe.” Foros posted a photo of his T-shirt on the Spiral, the Nine Inch Nails fan forum. People started typing “iamtryingtobelieve.com” into their Web browsers. That led them to a site denouncing something called Parepin, a drug apparently introduced into the US water supply. Ostensibly, Parepin was an antidote to bioterror agents, but in reality, the page declared, it was part of a government plot to confuse and sedate citizens. Email sent to the site’s contact link generated a cryptic auto-response: “I’m drinking the water. So should you.” Online, fans worldwide debated what this had to do with Nine Inch Nails. A setup for the next album? Some kind of interactive game? Or what?
A very interesting read and it shows the new ways used by marketeers to deeply involve the target group in the marketing campaign, make them part “of the story”. The TV show LOST is another example of this, combining many different “media channels”, but all using the Internet to integrate all of them.
Do you have other examples? Leave a comment!