Saturday, August 8, 2009

Viral Marketing on Long Island

What were you doing at 5:58 this morning? We (TJ, Aaron, Randy, and I) were sitting at Jones Beach on Long Island waiting for the Bioshock 2 publicity stunt. Our trip began around 4:30 in the morning as we all convened at TJ’s house. As you will see on video later, the trip started with a moonlit half hour drive to the beach where we all discussed many things including Monster Hunter 3 on the PSP (oddly).

Our anticipation later resulted in a discussion of what was going to occur. We developed many theories, some insane: massive kidnapping, some logical: Big Daddy sighting, and some funny: biggest rick roll ever to occur. We were one of the first groups of people to arrive at the beach as we noticed when we were one of maybe five cars, and the only group on the beach was a bunch of beachgoers in bathing suits. After arriving at the event, in true geek fashion, we busted out the GPS and followed it to as close as we can to the point we were given (we couldn’t get to the point because it was in the ocean).

The event really didn’t show itself too well. While we were there, there weren’t too many people in just one place. Only after TJ and I decided to look around did we actually find where the event was taking place. As we walked west, we noticed a small group of people and a large amount of wine bottles buried in the sand. This was what we were told, through rumor, what happened in Australia.

The stunt turned into a 75-100 person meet and greet. There, gamers were talking face to face on what they thought about the next game, the event, and as you probably assumed other games. There was actually no real confirmation of anyone from 2K actually being there. Had we not tried to take more than one bottle a person, I do not know if we would have even been able to determine who was running the show.

They gave out wine? Of course not. The bottles that were in the sand were merely plastic, and contained three posters paying homage to a message in a bottle. On the bottles themselves, the label tried to use as much of a Bioshock influence as possible, containing terms like Arcadia, Worley Winery, and 1958.

We left at the perfect time, just as we were walking up the beach towards the cars; we noticed park police riding up to the group. Apparently, they weren’t informed by anybody that a large group of people would be there, because they were broken up for “drinking.” This shows the event was an attempt at true viral marketing.

Shortly after, we left and stopped by a local diner with Geeksquisite author Stephanie. There, we reflected on the trip noting how much we liked the bottles. The group that showed up was, in my opinion, massive for being held at this hour. Maybe I was being na├»ve, but I was expecting a little more. Despite, I was not disappointed because it is hard not to have fun when you are not alone…being in photos on other websites doesn’t hurt either

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