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Massive interactive game turns out to be a gum commercial

John Moe Aug 23, 2011

People who believed they were playing an elaborate, online game trying to save the human race, were fooled when it was revealed that what they were actually playing was an elaborate, online advertisement for the Wrigley gum called simply 5. It seems the young people were drifting away from gum and Wrigley needed to bring them back. BACK TO GUM.

From the WSJ:

The gum maker’s game, dubbed “The Human Preservation Project,” claims to be recruiting players to take part in virtual experiments to save the human race by maintaining sensory experiences.
The “recruitment” began in May with ads on Facebook. In June, “confidential” materials were distributed to participants at the E3 Expo, a trade show for computer and video games, to create buzz among gamers.
Next came a stunt at the Bonnaroo music festival, where thousands of paper helicopters with glowing LED lights representing “ice flies” (a clue in the game) were dropped over the crowd by parachutists.
At the end of June, scavenger hunts in 15 cities provided clues to the next phase of the game, which included a new website featuring a short film.
So far, Wrigley says, 600,000 people have participated in the game in one way or another.

Here’s what’s kind of funny: when they found out that it was all a set up for gum, people didn’t seem to mind. They bought the gum and kept playing.

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