Alternate Reality Advertising?
April 21, 2005 10:14 PM   Subscribe

Alternate Reality Advertising? I noticed this peculiar advert on this morning's commute. Seems it's part of an immersive ad campaign. Since when do gamers have enough money to buy luxury rides?
posted by gnutron (12 comments total)
a post about ARGs in general might have been nice. this isn't.
posted by jimmy at 11:11 PM on April 21, 2005

Actually, (or coincidentally) I think one of the ads on rotation in the Blue (and several other places) last month was connected to this ARG somehow. It was for retrieval of stolen stuff.

I don't think I will post a link of it here though. I'd like to save meme propgation for only the important Polish music video lipsyncs.
posted by phyrewerx at 11:26 PM on April 21, 2005

Aw - I thought that this was going to about "Alternate Reality" the computer game from back in the 80's... still one of my most favourite games ever.

Anyway, since when does an Audi A3 count as a "luxury" ride??
posted by Chunder at 2:50 AM on April 22, 2005

"Since when do gamers have enough money to buy luxury rides?"

Whoa! Stereotype central.

Gaming is a huge industry played by people who, well, work for a living. Why shouldn't people who work be able to buy a car? Are you implying that gamers are bums with no money?

At least one segment of the game industry, video games, made more money last year than the movie industry. Where did that money come from?

Another segement of the gaming industry has whole cities that people go to to play games. Las Vegas, anyone? Where does the money come from to support such a city? Oh, could it be from people who can afford to buy things?

Yes, it's true, there are millions of people who play games. Probably billions. Playing games is just something that we, as a species, do. To characterize us as people who don't have money is ridiculous.

Oh and I too was expecting something about the 80's game of the same name.
posted by gdavis at 4:41 AM on April 22, 2005

Why I hate these things: For like a month I thought Last Resort Retrieval was a real Private Investigator company with way too much money to waste on internet advertising. These things fill the internet with pernicious lies.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:53 AM on April 22, 2005

advertising fills everywhere with pernicious lies.
posted by quonsar at 5:21 AM on April 22, 2005

If this keeps on, we won't even be able to trust our government.
posted by warbaby at 7:02 AM on April 22, 2005

Anyway, since when does an Audi A3 count as a "luxury" ride??
posted by Chunder at 4:50 AM CST on April 22 [!]

The A3 is a new model for 2006. The OP is probably aware of the Audi brand, but perhaps not this brand-new model.

Most Audi's would fit the description of a "luxury" ride. An A4 (the next model in the Audi lineup) can approach $45,000. Some Audi's cross $100k.

gdavis: I think with just a tiny bit of thought you can figure out what the OP was getting at. Any economic analysis of "gamers" will give skewed mean or median incomes because of the heavy percentage of those who are still minors and not full time earners.

You have to be very careful of the big lie that is popular now about people of all stripes and all ages being "gamers".

The term "gamer" is not really generic, and it means a certain something to people who fit the intended demographic.

Did you know that there are more women gamers than men? And that they spend more time online playing? Except, what they fail to tell you in this headline grabbing text is that the vast majority of women's game time is used to play Yahoo games or MSN games such as Bejeweled and Bookworm.

That's not what people REALLY mean by "gamer", is it?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:03 AM on April 22, 2005

Last Year, Men in the US spent more on music than games for the first time ever. The entire country is a bunch of gamers
posted by Megafly at 8:16 AM on April 22, 2005

"If anyone could make a quick bulleted-list summary of what the hell this is about, I'd certainly be interested in it. And I mean an overview from a reality perspective, not a storyboard of the ruse."

I'll point you to a couple of sites that are doing this currently:

Here's a "quickstart" guide that gives a basic overview of the game and the websites and characters:

This site is a trail guide, which is a collection of the events of the game in chronological order.

I'll also direct you here which talks a bit more about the nature of the campaign/game/ARG/whatever you want to call it :)
posted by ScarpeGrosse at 10:19 AM on April 22, 2005

"For like a month I thought Last Resort Retrieval was a real Private Investigator company with way too much money to waste on internet advertising"

You're mad because something you already thought was an advert was really part of an advert for something else?

I won't try and summarise the story here, but check out the sites linked to in the quick start guide. I think it's pretty cool, but promotional 'games' like these tend to work better when there's a lot of IP to exploit (like the recent Halo 2 promotion.)

The promotion is also making use of real-world meet ups. There's only been one so far, but those involved each walked away with a free Treo smartphone. Which was, y'know, nice. Although personally, I prefer my marketing in the traditional "Me-di-cal Advanc... ENLARGEMENT PLAN FOR MEN" format.

(I still find it odd that these type of things elicit such a strong reaction from people one way or the other.)
posted by so_necessary at 5:51 PM on April 22, 2005

At this point in time, I feel I should point out Slumberil, a rather interesting (better than the second movie) ad for the Matrix online.
posted by Hactar at 4:23 PM on April 23, 2005

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