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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mass Interactive Materialized

We've discussed for some time the trend toward mass interactive (well, ok, at least Aki and I are drunk on the kool-aid), and here are a couple examples further pulling back the curtain:

1. The recent KFC ad where you have to pause / slow mo Tivo the spot in order to get a secret code giving you a free sandwich. Admittedly, this is terrible execution - the prize is worth an un-wow-worthy $.99 sandwich, (why don't you just cut a coupon), but more importantly, there's no self discovery as the spot spells out in a far too obvious manner..."PSST: THERE'S A SECRET MESSAGE HIDDEN..." Note to self: anytime I want to be covert and under the radar with a secret code, don't headline it in bold red CAPS - it kind of defeats the purpose of beginning it with "psst" in the first place. I digress.

That said, the idea of soliciting mass interactive with the ad is a really good one. More than 70,000 have submitted entries for the secret code (ironically, ABC rejected the ad, feeling that it fell "below the audience threshold of sensation of awareness." Apparently, not following their own rules, their promos for Desperate Housewives used to include quick non-awareness-able cuts of the characters in what was more than a tacit attempt to subliminally engender a voyeuristic naughty-ness about the show. I digress. Again.)

2. The second example has been well documented, the Mastercard ads that premiered during the oscars, soliciting entrants to write their own script to a Priceless spot. The quality of the exection is debatable, but Mastercard is at least allowing some brand hijack, to be sure, albeit, on a pretty safe level. That said, people have been writing their own unapproved Priceless ads for years, so you have to give Mastercard chops for recognizing it and giving the consumer a pen. As an aside, even if they need to be extra careful on broadcast, Mastercard should have the balls to air some humorous entries online, or "allow" some viral to somehow sneak through the censors.

Anyway, make sure to drink your ovaltine, cause this trend is going to continue as the long tail keeps getting longer.

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