The WIBS immersive campaign was played out across four websites, included 10 live events (notes hidden in nine libraries across the country, and a live meeting in downtown Manhattan), anonymous phone calls and text messages, and a series of unbranded blog and classified ads.
Story overview: Tucker Darby, a 29 year old collections agent living in Tampa, needs your help. Over the holidays he found a mysterious painting of a crop circle (in the shape of the ethanol molecule), dated 1913, which has exhibited an almost supernatural hold over him. He’s been trying to identify the artist and the story behind it ever since. A note inside the painting indicated that the event depicted was real. He’s asking for help finding the man who originally owned the painting, Benjamin Stove, and figuring out what the painting means.
This story led over 380,000 viewers on a goose chase trying to help Tucker track down Benjamin Stove. The audience uncovered clues, cracked puzzles, went on live missions, worked as a team, created and published content, and posted over 9,000 messages on the campaign forums. With the primary topic being alternative fuels (specifically ethanol). Idea by Stefan Kogler. Story concept by Kevin Omans and Rod Weston.
Campaign Highlights & Awards:
- Heavy national and international earned media impressions both on- and offline. Including references and articles by Wired Magazine, Advertising Age, Forbes, the Alternate Reality Game Network (ARGN) and more
- Web Stats: 380,000+ visitors, 14 million hits, and an average time spent over 16 minutes
- WhoIsBenjaminStove.com continued to average 1,600 visitors/day eight months post campaign, with an increased time spent over 20 minutes
- 2007 The D Show (Detroit) Awards; Best of Innovation
(when you connected the nine cities on a map, it drew the ethanol molecule)