100 Puzzles. Literally hidden Within the Hedges.
The game itself required users to hover over every pixel of the Hedge in order to signal the puzzle pieces. To make it even more challenging, we scrambled the location of any puzzle that the user failed to solve. It wasn't easy to hack. Yet still, thousands of players engaged in the very time consuming-yet-rewarding challenge.
A Forum for Community building
We created a central hub for all of the game, film, and campaign-related items that included a player ranking system and a chat forum for discussion and sharing of puzzle solves.
It started with a "viral video"
Shortly after the partnership with the film was finalized, HP and their agency of record, Goodby, had hired my friends and collaborators at Campfire (some of the same brilliant minds that made "The Blair Witch Project") to create a viral video that showed a skunk in a coffeehouse. The original video quickly garnered up over 1 million views. And just as happened with Blair, there was a lot of discussion/debate as to whether or not the footage was real. All pretty good considering that this was in the very early days of YouTube.
…AND A national tv Campaign
So, the nebulous status of "virality" was achieved, but there was no connection to the story of the film, or to the national t.v. commercial that Goddby had created
How might we tie the two stories together?
I was fortunate to be a part of the creative team searching for a story tie-in, and the answer we came up with was pretty fun. What if…the character from the film had somehow seen the viral video, and sprung the idea of creating a distraction in order to pull off the heist that we all saw in the animated commercial?