A while back our team launched the Boosted platform, a series of fun social media-focused games on behalf of Samsung and Intel. The first was Tweetwrap, which is fairly self explanatory, the second, Tweetcracker, allowed you to discover clues to a secret combination and eventually crack a real safe with a laser.
The encore took a bit longer to come up with.
After a slew of ideas relating to the speed of the Series 7 notebook computer, our clients asked us to pull back and focus on ideas relating to clue-based gaming that made Tweetcracker so successful.
The idea for Secret Sites came during one of those obnoxiously cliche moments when people claim inspiration strikes – neither my partner Anthony Dines nor I remember which one of us actually came up with the final idea, and it happened after we felt like we had exhausted concepts for the day.
We had talked about stashing Series 7’s around the United States using its web cam to give visual clues of its location. It was complex, out of budget, and didn’t feel creative enough to be called Boosted, but the nugget of the idea was there – a clue-based scavenger hunt.
We were talking about hiding clues on funny websites around the Internet when one of us said “How about hiding the websites themselves?” Then we wrote the puzzle on a piece of paper: www._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.com. We had our idea, and added the incentive that the fastest person to find a site could win a Series 7.
Our social media team helped us focus our executions to single-serving sites, the “knock-knock jokes” of the Internet. We had a few sites in mind like www.TheHillsRaliveWiththeSoundofMusak.com but wanted to open the forum to all Barbarians on an internal email thread. Rye, our senior strategist from the Austin office, thought of ScratchandSniffWebsite.com. And ladyzombo.com pays homage to the godfather of single serving sites, zombo.com. We moved on with whatever made us laugh the most, and wrote the remainder. One of our favorites, clientdreamwebsite.com was a bit of an inside joke about the push/pull between clients and their agencies (make the logo bigger! more product!) with a slightly hidden long scroll dialogue.
Every site is branded with contextually relevant ads, all driving to the Series 7 product page. There’s branding, but it is fun, and in the context of something people actually get a kick out of.
Each Boosted campaign is not just an exercise in growing a fan base from scratch; it’s a study in how to communicate a particularly influential, but jaded, type of audience. We couldn’t have made it without TBG’s love of weird Internet culture that attracts the notoriously finicky techie target. For Samsung and Intel, Boosted is turning into something more than an experimental side project and informing what it means to earn attention through cool experiences rather than stealing attention through a banner ad.
Oh hey, we’re The Barbarian Group. We’re a digital-centric creative agency. Which means we think the Internet has finally won, and become the most important channel in people’s lives–just like we always knew it would. So from brand planning, to attention-grabbing ideas, to innovative applications, products and platforms, we combine strategy, technology, creative and media to make everything brands need to navigate this awesome new world.
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