Here's an eye-catching campaign. Agency Republik creates Illuminator, a series of time-released puzzles and clues whose answers lie in the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
The campaign will run twice in six months through newspapers, on the Illuminator site, on signs in the museum, and in a flip book at the museum store. Each clue corresponds to one piece of art; for example, this Missing poster speaks to Memories by Sheng Qi. And the image at left points to this guy.
The person who nails all 20 gets ... a free shirt. Okay, that kind of sucks. But the game is intriguing and possibly, yes, illuminating. If there's anything we learned about America post Da Vinci Code it's that you can only get people's asses into a museum if they have a ball of yarn to untangle - and possibly a cryptic murder case involving an albino, but you can't ask for everything.
COG1 takes a pause from bloodying kittens to deliver What's in Santa's Pants, a confusing, slow-loading site for Fuse TV. Guess what's in the pants of a pervy Santa perched between a contentious elf and a Russian ... hooker? Muse? Cookie-baker? We don't know why she's there aside from making eye candy and strained comic relief. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
You can do what on Second Life?! That was, and remains, our reaction when we discovered you can role play rape in the back alleys of the commerce-friendly virtual wonderland.
Apparently even Second Lifers can't do the rounds alone after dark. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Deft Creative Ltd.'s, awkwardly sloganed "Dexterous of hand and inventive of mind," demonstrates neither dexterity (though they try) nor inventiveness (no effort here) with this dull leaping-Rudolph ski game. The object is to beat the furthest leap and we're ensured by the agency guy that "All scores on the score board ARE beatable." Glad he made the effort to bang that in because otherwise we were going to lose sleep over it.
The game is tricky in that it involves holding down your left mouse button and releasing when you feel Rudolph has built enough momentum. Then you let loose and do it all over again. It's a cross between the high school pole jump and a Friday night spent half-heartedly masturbating. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
In Altoids Factory, which looks suspiciously like a Chinese sweatshop, assist two little men in the hefty task of turning plain Altoids into sour ones by creating clusters beside the proper packaging. The game is mystifying as we couldn't begin to guess what some of the packages are supposed to represent and thus wasted a lot of time putting 'toids beside the wrong containers resulting in no transformation of any kind.
Keep your dirty dealings to yourself, PR guy Al Toid. We will not take part in your shady time-wasting practices. Oh, and your music sucks too. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
In another attempt to keep Canada busy, Ontario-based Fuel Industries creates the following advergame for Johnson and Johnson.
Mr. Reach and the Mouth of Mystery has our hero Mr. Reach pursuing danger of all sizes and shapes to save his buddy Jerry the narrator. Both are dormant TV personalities from the 80's and 90's. The site calls this "a story filled with secrets, romance, and adventure that dates back almost three hundred years... a story that could actually hold the key to the very answers you are seeking."
Our only question is whether all this romance and adventure and shit takes place inside our mouths. Because that's normally where toothbrushes fight injustices of all kinds - in our mouths. And if the answer is yes, this takes place in our mouths, oh man. That's a porno spoof just waiting to happen. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Alex, the college student who made good with the Million Dollar Homepage idea that none of us could believe we didn't think of first, is back post-million with a philanthropic offering. No, that's not the right description.
Pixelotto, in a shade slightly more garish than the Million Dollage Homepage, promises to make a millionaire out of a hopeful ad clicker. All this fervent ad clicking presents an incentive for advertisers to keep investing in this pay-per-pixel insanity we thought would die and stay dead after Alex had enough money to get those socks he wanted so badly. Will the pixel Boy Wonder do it again? - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Candystand, Candystand, Candystand:
"We've taken Origummy from our Extra Gum TV spots and "game-ified" him. Check out Extra Jetpack Mission -- another brand new game on Candystand.com. Certainly, not as complex as GT Racing or Mini Putt, but arguably more approachable and all-around fun." - Arbirtrary Candystand PR guy
Yeah well, we think Origummy looks high and is not too far a cry from South Park's stoned, lame-ass two-dimensional Towelie. The only difference is we're actually fond of Towelie.
Well, if you ain't got jack to do or you happen to be Canadian (interestingly, a lot of Candystand's games are made by Canadian groups like Fuel Industries in Ottawa), check out the game. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
This Georgia Pacific site, GPTimeMachine, is designed to show how long the companies products last by providing viewers a virtual time machine through which they can check out a house ten years into the future to see how it's holding up. Nice concept but the execution is extremely goofy and corny. So much so that it actually might be good though we remain undecided on that front.
This is one of those ingredient branding things that always makes us wonder why companies bother doing it. Obviously it must work or else Intel wouldn't still be doing it. Unless your a geek or a detail freak, you likely don't give a crap what sort of chip is inside your computer or what kind of wood is used to build your house. We could see this Georgia Specific thing being targeted at home builders but we'd really like to see what results come from this consumer-focused, ingredient-branding approach Georgia Pacific has taken. Do tell. Numbers please.
As a follow up to their Cannes Gold Lion-winning print and outdoor campaign that visually illustrated what can happen when one drink 42Below vodka, the company has launched a game, called 42Belowstories, based on the same concept. The game lets players create their one lurid tales of debauchery using an online story teller filed with images that can be combined to tell the appropriate tale.