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Alternate Reality Advertising: ARGs Real Uses

Alternate Reality Advertising: ARGs Real Uses

By on Oct 15, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

It is no secret that viral marketing is becoming more and more popular across the spectrum (if you really need proof go check Facebook and Twitter and tell me when the Captain America movie is coming out). Really it is no surprise that companies are taking advantage of the mass social media movement currently occurring across the globe , but what about the companies that are ahead of the curve? What is the next step in trying to prove that our toothpaste is better than their toothpaste?   Some advertising agencies are exploring the options that are being presented by the dark horses, known as the Alternate Reality Games or “ARG”. ARGs rely on a narrative being told through the medium of the real world (popular examples include the internet or certain unadvertised events across the country). Since ARGs are still so new, it seems as if they are still trying to find their place in the online world, yet their very nature suggests that advertising is the perfect fit. The idea behind an ARG is very similar to that of an everyday video game. Solve this puzzle, complete this challenge and you are rewarded with several new puzzles and challenges and a little bit more of the unfolding story. ARGs are very closely related to video games in the sense that they reward the players with new puzzles and new parts of the unfolding narrative, but there is a crucial difference between the two. Video games exist primarily to be sold to make a profit for the producer. As of right now, ARGs are a mostly cost-free experience, meaning that people do not have any particularly strong motivation to produce them. Unless…   Over the past years, some advertising agencies have been attempting to incorporate the use of ARG’s into their marketing strategies. Examples of this include Bungee’s “I Love Bees” campaign or Warner Bros. and DC Comics “Why So Serious?” (Information on these and several others can be found at this article.)     These marketing tools tend to bait the consumer in with the prospect some sort of vague puzzle or clue, leading them usually towards a website where they are given further clues. These clues tend to be the beginnings of a secret...

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