Electronics company Sharp has launched a complex, integrated ad campaign based on their most recent tagline: "More To See". The effort includes television spots and a labyrinthine online story and treasure hunt.
There is way more to see than the three Errol Morris-directed spots that kick off the campaign. The mysterious commercials send viewers to the campaign's main site, www.moretosee.com, which links to blogs written by three characters involved in a hunt for three mysterious urns, as well as to product information about Sharp's high-end LCD Aquos television and the complex technology behind it.
Through the inter-linking blogs (peter.moretosee.com, natalie.moretosee.com and mike.moretosee.com ) -- which describe the characters' love triangle and double-crossing attempts to unravel various puzzles -- consumers can enter sites relating to puzzles and other mysteries, including Stonehenge, crop circles and the Egyptian pyramids.
Beyond the screen, there will also be a temporary art gallery setup in New York's SoHo that will integrate ideas from the campaign with product displays.
While the creative teams don't expect every consumer to click through to the end, those who do will find clues to a real-life treasure hunt.
Rich Shapiro, a friend of mine and fellow Iddiot (look it up) decided to check out the weblink and filed his own version of Fodor's Guide for the Idiot's Delight Digest.
With his permission, I'm reprinting his report here:
I saw this odd commercial on the Yanks game, a Karman Ghia diving into a swimming pool, and then the link to www.moretosee.com and finding it odd, I went there.
There, a flash display shows the little mini-movie again, with stills, close up, of certain parts. Some of them link to other places. I clicked on one and found this site about a mysterious puzzle that was just partially solved.... http://www.steinitzpuzzlers.com/index.html
So, on and off, I browsed around. Very odd, and oddly interesting. A story about an eccentric anthropologist, Dagobert Steinitz, who hid 3 urns, and who ever figured out the clues, and found the first one would be given a million dollars. He lived in seclusion for 30 years, dying mysteriously last year. Then, this year, this 40 year old puzzle, nearly ignored by puzzlers, was solved. And, so, the search for urns 2 and 3 started anew.
He created the puzzle to in some way get back at other scientists who had scorned him for his theory of an alternate species of humans, one that created super humans who influenced human development. Kind of like aliens moving mankind around, but a more naturalistic approach. He'd show them with a puzzle they couldn't solve, or some such.
Anyway. It made for interesting browsing while the Yankees don't solve their puzzle. Looking a bit further into this, one can discover a link to the use of interactive advertising fiction, and the underground quiet buzz that this alternative advertising might be able to cause.
(The funny thing was that as I was reading the site, I'd forgotten how i'd gotten there. I completely forgot that I'd linked to it from that tv ad website (which, when I went to it, made completely no sense to me, and I couldn't figure out why there was even a commercial to mention an odd website. But, I got past that pretty quickly.
I was actually enjoying reading the blurbs about the mysterious puzzle, etc...(having forgotten the original website), though, at some point, it seemed that the story was getting more and more far fetched. Thing is, I recall a tv show (or 60 minutes, or something) that did a piece on a mathematical puzzle that someone had left, possibly engraved on a statue, or something, I can't remember.
So, i thought this might be that, at first, until I googled it a bit, and came up w/the adweek. which reminded me i'd started....on the toob...in this little bit of clicking around during the yankees game.)
It's going to be a major coup if one of the other two commercials turns out to deal with this theory about super-humans. Think how many TV series that could be linked to! 'Stargate SG-1', 'Babylon 5', 'Farscape', and of course, 'Star Trek'.
We shall see what we shall see!
With thanks to Melanie Shortman & Rich Shapiro