Sometimes the journey down the rabbit hole is an interesting one. In a recent Twitter post, Damon Lindelof linked to a sound file he deemed “Rad. Just… Rad.” The file in question, available for your listening pleasure at Soundcloud, is a remix which includes audio from a TED talk delivered by Peter Weyland. The message is fairly inspirational, concluding with Weyland’s assertion that he “will settle for nothing short of greatness, or [he] will die trying.” Alas, in this case, a picture tells a thousand words more than the few Weyland used to entertain his captive audience.
Upon further review, the original video was found at a special TED page in which we discover that Weyland looks remarkably similar to Guy Pearce, the wonderful character actor. And lo and behold, the title not only reveals that the TED talk in question occurs in 2023, but that it is “[a] TEDTalk from the future as envisioned by Prometheus director Ridley Scott.” The video adds an additional layer of depth to the talk, picked up by some exceptionally rad hover-cameras that cover the action. And thus the rabbit hole deepens, leading down the trail for a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming film Prometheus.
Quite a few online communities and blogs have been closely following the campaign, and have uncovered a few other interesting, albeit fairly benign, aspects of this particular viral campaign. For starters, there is a fancy web site dedicated to Weyland Corp at weylandindustries.com, which hosts the TED Talk video (don’t miss the bit.ly link displayed on the screen at 0:52, as it leads… somewhere) and provides background information about the company. You can also register as an investor if you’d like to get email updates on the goings-on of the company (which, unfortunate-in-a-suspension-of-disbelief-kind-of-way, clearly come from Twentieth Century Fox US). But wait, there’s more! At the About Us page, there happens to be a flashing light hidden amongst the star field surrounding Earth, and flashing lights often lead to secret sections of websites, no? Without spoiling it for you, there’s a thread at the Unfiction forums where people have done the hard work for you, and the result is a spectacular piece of art not to be missed.
Unfortunately, that’s where the trail ends, for now. The film is set to be released in June, so there are still quite a few weeks for other things to develop, especially as quite a few sections of the Weyland Industries website are suspiciously locked. In the meantime, there may or may not be a glyph puzzle hidden among the images (secret and otherwise) on the Weyland Industries web site, so if you’re holding a flame for the hot new summer blockbuster, this might be right up your alley. However, if you’re simply a fan of awesome and interesting TED talks, perhaps this one is more your style?
Not every project we write about here starts with an attractive brunette female in trouble, and in the case of these two campaigns, we don’t even know where the game starts and real life ends. First up, we have Akoha, a company that describes itself as one that believes that “community is not only the lifeblood of our company, but also an ongoing dedication to listening and working with our users to create something special.” Akoma recently made waves at the TED Conference by distributing packs of mission cards in its Inspired Minds series. The cards describe missions tailor-made for kindness, which include giving someone a hero medal, or sharing a book. In the world of community building and social networking, Akoma missions seem like a good way to spread kindness throughout your digital and physical world.
The second project on the list is the Top Secret Dance-Off. We were tipped off about this endeavor through Jane McGonigal’s twitter stream, and many people in the ARG community are participating in the game. The general idea, as described on the web site, is that there is an “underground world of dance quests and dance-offs,” where players can “[d]iscover new dance battlegrounds and develop [their] top secret Choreopowers!” Choreopowers might just be the word of the year, and as such, we encourage those that aren’t afraid to don a mask and complete an dance-based mission to grab your nearest video recording device and get started. Learn all about the rules through a video posted by a very familiar-looking Punky McMonsef, and check out the videos of one of our favorite Cthulhu-loving dancemasters.