I don’t know much about ARG. At first sight, maybe because I’m kind of lazy as a user or too pragmatic as a marketer, I see them complicated, requiring too much of an effort to be really engaging. But I don’t want to bias you, nor to pan a new trend in interactive marketing that I still haven’t explored in full. I assume you are as ignorant as me about ARGs, so I start from the beginning, with the definition, and Wikipedia has the answer: an alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants’ ideas or actions.
And now let’s go into two recent examples. The first one launched last week in the UK, it’s called We tell stories, and it’s run by publishing giant Penguin. As explained on NMA, for six weeks, a story a week will be added to wetellstories.co.uk. Each of the stories, written by top authors including Mohsin Hamid and Nicci French, will contain clues that will push readers to a real world location.
Personalize your cover no longer applies only to mobile phones. Publishing company Penguin is currently running an online initiative which allows readers to design the cover of six masterpieces (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Crime and Punishment among the others). The best designs will be put into production, and will become real book covers. As I already said in the past, I love this kind of marketing ideas to stimulate user generated content, as they offer people a real added value. Reward consumers with something they cannot get themselves (and always exceed expectations!). On the website they also say that, according to consumer research, when we decide whether or not to buy a book, cover design is always the most important thing. Unfortunately, I have to agree. If I don’t already know the author, and I buy a book based on the “inspiration” of the moment, the cover does play a role in affecting my choice.
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