I wanted to say something sooner but I have been super busy and I wanted to give Len the spotlight first and space out our entries for maximum visibility.
As you may or may not have heard. My good friend Len Kendall and I have been chosen to participate in the first ever Mercedes Benz Tweet Race. What is this you may ask? Well basically the good folks at Mercedes Benz have chosen four teams of two to drive cars from different locations across the USA in a Twitter powered adventure. Our destination? Dallas, Texas just in time for a big sporting event that we may have a hookup to acquire tickets for.
The race takes place from Feb 2nd – Feb 4th and aside from just being a ton of fun, it’s got a lot of incentives and for a good cause. Our team is going to be “coached” by Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher and will be playing to win ourselves brand new 2012 Mercedes Benz C-class cars and money to go to “Swish’s Wishes,” a children’s charity that enriches lives and lifts the spirits of children with vital health issues, a cause I think we can all get behind. Lastly, if that isn’t enough there is a selfish incentive to help us! By joining our “team” on Facebook you are entered into a drawing to win a prize which could include a V.I.P. trip to the US Open, Mercedes Benz Fashion week or The PGA Championship. Pretty sweet right?
So what can you do to help? Well first off, join our “team” on Facebook here. That gets you entered to win all the cool prizes. Len and I have been assigned the Twitter hashtag #MBteamE. So from Feb 2nd – Feb 4th they are going to gauge how many people tweet for us using that tag, the more tweets, the more points we get. The more points, the better chance we have of winning.
So I decided to make this super easy for you my friends, I set up a Twtvite here. So all you need to do is login, RSVP and have it post a tweet for it. Ideally we want you to do that starting on the 2nd but if you want to help raise awareness now that would be awesome too.
Now you know me folks, I’m going to be having a blast with this. Expect plenty of adventures and photos right here and throughout the various social networks. I look forward to sharing it with all of you.
Lastly, what would a road trip be without awesome music right? Len and I are letting you choose the soundtrack! Pick out some awesome tunes and add them to our playlist and we’ll make sure to rock out to them on the road. If you let us know which are your tunes we’ll try to give you a shoutout of where we are when we hear them!
The site in question, Mr. Ellis, speculates that it may be tied to the movie release as viral marketing ARG (Alternate Reality Game, ala ‘The Hanso Foundation’ and the TV show Lost). If he’s right, it leaves much to be desired. Sure, the site makes mention of ‘Nova Express,’ a fictional magazine from the Watchmen story, and hawks the character’s ‘life-changing methods’; however, the links are nonfunctional, and even the mailing list box doesn’t work, it instead is a mailto link to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ The site design is weak at best; I would imagine if Warner Brothers were to be getting into the viral game, they’d put a little more effort into it. A quick look at the HTML code reveals the site to be based on a free template design credited to a ‘Joseph De Araujo.’ Lame.
Putting those things aside, the site still doesn’t make sense. For one, the Watchmen storyline takes place in an alternate reality, cold war era, 1985, a detail which is reportedly being retained for the movie. If that’s the case, a viral web ad campaign or ARG would be out of place. Especially seeing as how it’s not 1985 and the World Wide Web didn’t exist in it’s current form back then either.
The telltale, however, is this: on the bottom left of the page there is a login link that brings up the following:
Real ARGs are never this sloppy. Suddenly it all makes a lot more sense. Looking a little harder one finds that the site is actually hosted at theonering.net: a Lord of the Rings fansite. Turns out, this isn’t their first attempt either, they’ve also been publishing a blogger website entitled ‘Rorschach’s journal.‘ Some believe the guys at ‘The One Ring’ have been lobbying to try and get some deal with Warner Brothers to do viral marketing for the movie. My best guess is they hope to make another unofficial hub like theonering.net possibly based around Moore’s works or something. Since Lord of the Ring’s success they’ve sort of made a business out of movie fan sites apparently.
Conclusion: It’s nothing but a bunch of geeks having some unofficial web fun and a let-down for us other geeks looking for something fun to dig through while we get hyped up looking forward to the movie.
To date, the only official Watchmen teaser info can be found here. Go back to sleep Watchmen fans.