Nine Inch Nails Using Alternate Reality Game (ARG or “Big Game”) To Market New Album

I think the concept of marketing using “big games” or ARG’s is one of the most exciting marketing concepts that has emerged in recent years. The way it combines customer experience, co-creation, word of mouth, and customer engagement and lets not forget FUN, makes it a very powerful tool in a marketers repertoire. As Trent says though this is not just about marketing but a new form of entertainment.

To promote new album “Year Zero,” Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is using a multimedia scavenger hunt that leads fans to online destinations, reports CNN. The campaign will encompass everything from cryptic phrases on T-shirts to Orwellian Web sites to MP3s found on USB drives in bathrooms at NIN concerts.

A source with knowledge of the project says Reznor perceives it all not as a marketing campaign but as “a new entertainment form.” 42 Entertainment is helping to create the experience; that’s the agency behind 2005′s “alternate-reality game” promoting the Halo 2 videogame for the XBox.

Via

Trent Reznor

iamtryingtobelieve.com

Related: Five Trends Driving Big Games

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5 Comments

  1. Posted April 3, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    “it combines customer experience, co-creation, word of mouth, and customer engagement and lets not forget FUN”

    Man, this is the Swiss Army Knife of marketing concepts!

    I should not have read this post just before bed time. My mind is racing.

    Thanks for extending this conversation.

    Keep creating…it freaks people out,
    Mike

  2. karl long
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much Michael, I really think it’s a very big idea, and the tools are getting to a point where you can do some very creative stuff.

  3. Posted April 5, 2007 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    if you all are interested in just how complex the year zero “experience” is, check out the fan-created nin wiki at http://ninwiki.com/

    and how about the RIAA suing websites that host the tracks purposely leaked by the band via “MP3s found on USB drives in bathrooms at NIN concerts.”

  4. karl long
    Posted April 5, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow, thanks nin fan, that is a very interesting and useful resource, and yes I can well believe that the RIAA are suing fans, why wouldn’t you sue your customers :-)

  5. Posted November 13, 2007 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to learn about ARGs. I had not heard of the term and of course it has now got me thinking.

2 Trackbacks

  • By This Is Mind Candy on April 6, 2007 at 6:06 am

    Nine Inch Nails Using Alternate Reality Game (ARG or “Big Game”) To Market New Album at ExperienceCurve…

    The web is popping with buzz coverage of 42 Entertainment’s latest campaign – the Year Zero ARG for Nine Inch Nails’s latest album. It’s great to see that marketing agencies (and brands!) are picking up on the power of ARGs…

  • [...] A little far-fetched? Certainly, but it got the entire Nine Inch Nails fanbase behind the concept of the album and provided for one of the largest releases in the band’s history thanks to all of the press that it got. [...]

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