October 22, 2009
An alternate reality.
I was sitting on the living room couch with my laptop when I first saw this spot. I shushed my couch-sitting companions. I stopped web surfing. And for the first time in quite awhile, I watched a spot that actually gave me chills.
The Levi's campaign by Wieden + Kennedy has been running for a few months now, but I've wanted to post on it for quite awhile. The spots are hauntingly beautiful and inspiring. And as a fan of Walt Whitman, I’m happy to hear his voice and poetry featured in the campaign.
While the spot was arresting for me on both a visual and auditory level, it also made me take notice of the Levi’s web address at the close of the spot. Of course I was on my laptop while watching TV (what good Gen Y-er isn’t?) so I typed in the address and found myself getting pulled into a brilliant alternate reality game created for Levi’s.
The site spins a tail about a man named Grayson Ozias IV who buried a fortune somewhere in the U.S. back in the late 1800's. Grayson disappeared without a trace, but left behind a series of wax cylinders with clues that lead to the treasure.
The site is updated with new clues for players to listen to and solve. They’ve also wisely introduced social media into the game, and players can follow @GraysonOziasIV on Twitter or use Facebook Connect to spread the game. The player who manages to solve the game wins $100,000, and Levi's is also ponying up $100,000 to donate to a charity of America's choice.
I’ll admit that I’ve gotten drawn into playing this game; it's very well done. It's also fascinating take part in seeing how brands are using alternate reality games to connect with consumers on a less traditional level.
- posted by Hillary Hempstead