About Perplex City

Note: This summary dates from Sept. 2007. See my Routes summary for a detailed description of one of my more recent projects.

If you're looking for a writer and game designer whose greatest asset is
all-around general competence, who lives and breathes digital media and
innovative experiential marketing and all that jazz, who plays nice
with others and bakes a mean pumpkin cookie to boot, then I'm your
girl. But don't let me just tell you; let me show you.


This video was the start of a pre-launch campaign to build awareness
and excitement for the game Perplex City. Those blank spots were filled
in over the course of the campaign with dates and the names of
newspapers. Each newspaper ran a classified or display ad with a piece
of a fictional news article, and a couple of small-scale physical
events, one in New York and one in London. The campaign culminated in
the launch of a fictional news site, creating a persistent virtual
world in which much of the campaign unfolded. Here's how that newspaper looked at
the end of the campaign:


I wrote and recorded the voiceover for the pregame video, planned and
purchased the media buys, designed the actual ads, and wrote the
majority of the copy for the site this campaign launched, the Perplex
City Sentinel, over the two years that it was live.

Here's a thread discussing the pregame campaign on a forum smack in the middle of our target market:


An important component of the post-launch campaign is here:


This character provided one of several points of interaction with
our audience. This light degree of interaction cost us very little in
the way of time and resources (answering a few emails, posting audience
comments and making shout-outs in blog posts). But this gave us huge
benefits in terms of the audience's emotional engagement. These
highly-engaged individuals became evangelists for our product.

In fact, they were so engaged by the two-year campaign that they created a wiki with over a thousand pages:


Wrote a book when we told them to:


Folded 333 origami cranes to send to our main office when a character was murdered:


...and, of course, they bought millions of collectible puzzle cards, which were the actual product being marketed:


This was such a complex and long-running project, however, that I am inevitably glossing over large components of it: black helicopters, just-in-time text adventures, and shadowy religious cults, to name a few.

Still with me? Great.

I'm looking for a great freelance or contract project. If
you have one you think I could work a little magic on, email me at
andrhia@gmail.com. We'll talk. It'll be dynamic.

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