I'm really starting to enjoy The Lost Experience game. The flurry of clues and new online content this week really served to expand the connect-the-dots narrative. It's an incredible online experience, and one of the most interesting advertising/marketing experiences in some time--since sponsor messages are buried amid the clues.
I don't have time to plug numbers into ASCII translators or run my mouse across every corner of The Hanso Foundation site to pick up the tiny hints, so I've been relying on the clues blogs. (Was Ms. Clue in this week's episode a tip of the hat to the online game?)
The best clue blog
The best, in my opinion, is The Lost Experience Clues, interestingly an online project from Watermark Community Church, though nothing overtly geared toward outreach is included. (They have a separate blog, Stories of the Lost, which explores the television show's spiritual themes and links to their church home page. Watermark certainly seems to be an appropriate name for their low-key approach. And it mirrors the core sponsor messages in the game.)
Anyway I digress worse than a Lost flashback. I like to pick up a few clues from the blogs and make my way along the online path from there.
And as I was saying, the subtlety of the advertising is what's most impressive. Surprisingly advertisers are trusting that rabid Lost fans will glean sponsor messages as well as Hanso revelations from the web strands that spread everywhere.
"I smell a lymon," I e-mailed my friend, Wayne, this week as I jumped from the Lost-Clues-provided coordinates on the Hanso Foundation electromagnatism subsite to letyourcompassguideyou.com.
Hugh McIntyre's inbox
By the time the fake Hanso ad flashed on the show with it's tiny "sponsored by Jeep" footnote, I and many many other fans had already been through Hanso Foundation PR Man Hugh McIntyre's inbox.
"This week's spot is sponsored by Jeep," I told Wayne in that e-mail before the show. The way Sprite sneakily sponsored last week's clues with sublymonal.com.
And yes, I wound up looking at Jeep's site for their Compass, as I was supposed to, even though Hugh had only stored a cryptic print ad and an '80s ear Jeep commercial on You Tube. (Addendum: Apparently Hanso is ordering some Jeep Compasses, I stand corrected.)
Some may be cynical, but it's a brilliant business decision by all of the parties, and I think it's paying for great fun.
Namaste, and obey your thirst.