7/17/11

Captivatingly Creative Marketing

Butterflies from side

I had no idea what to write for today's Sunday Scribblings prompt--captivating. I decided to sleep on it last night. I decided to let it keep simmering this morning while I got down to work on my WIP. I still didn't have an idea when it was time to take a break for the morning run. It wasn't until I was posting my word count for #amwriting on Twitter that my attention was captivated by a brilliantly creative marketing tool--a little game.

Now I get paid to solve people's computer problems, so I guess I was a prime target for an invitation to test my problem solving skills. I clicked the tweet link to the game. It looked so easy--guess the password and type it in the box. I nailed the first few pretty fast. So could you. There were fifty levels and I was at level five in under five minutes. Each time I guessed a password the page would reload and display a new image or block of text that served as a hint. The ways in which the hint was delivered were clever and fun. I was stuck for a while at level 8 but made it to 17 before I forced myself to stop and save the play for later.

The most brilliant part of this little game is that it teaches you a bit about computer security, entertains you, and delivers a marketing message in a palatable way. I mean, let's be honest, reading about botnets, scalability, data centers, insert buzz word, insert buzz word, insert buzz word, is about as much fun as having your toenails extracted. The message they deliver about their project is pretty much the same message all their competitors deliver. Here's a sample:

"No matter what TIME it is, Qwest's national network with built-in security ensures that your data is both accessible and protected."

But--and I'm sure you'll see this before I point it out--there's a clue hidden in the text that tells you where to look for the password to the next level. They do that all the way through their game. I scrutinized each line of marketing message, each picture, watched YouTube video worth double yawns and watched it all the way through. I bet you would too. And that's why this is brilliant. If it works to get people interacting with a message this dry, think of how well something similar could work for your message--which, of course, is way more exciting. And I don't think you have to be a programmer to come up with creative marketing that is educational, intriguing, and fun. If you do whip up something let me know and I'll blab about your creativity with as much enthusiasm as I have about Qwest's. BTW, I don't know anyone who works there and have no personal interest in the company.

I haven't figured out how to apply this yet. But I love a good problem to solve, so I will.

You can test your problem solving abilities at Ultimate Problem Solver. See if you have what it takes to earn a place on the Ultimate Problem Solver Wall of Fame. Let me know how far you go in the comments. If anyone makes it past level 17, leave me a hint.


This post was written in response to this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt. See what others wrote or join the fun yourself here.

13 comments:

  1. Oh, I hate things like that. I keep looking at the screen, get it right and then before i know it, the sun's rising again... *sigh*

    Those are fun though, I'll give you that much. Not tempted in the slightest *wrestled with hand on mouse*

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Not tempted here either, but it is fun to know what someone else is captivated by. Me, I'll do "Angry Birds." LOL

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  3. Is it subliminal clues in the old peripheral vision..you took me to a new place in your post..thanks Nara..Jae

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  4. Hmmm my twitter seems to be up the creek without a paddle right now. Won't log me in and when it finally shows a blank page with a log in box, it tells me no such name exists!
    I had such problems replying to your tweet and just know it probably tweeted about 20 times because each time I hit send, it would tell me there was an error and try again!
    LOLOL soooo if you have 50,000 tweets from me, consider yourself lucky.
    I took a peek at that game got to time passed it and quit, not giving anymore info to any new places, someone already got into my AOL account ...had to switch all the freakin password again.....grrrr....

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  5. aha...sounds fun although 50levels will take me ages to complete... hope you implement it in your case too :)

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  6. @LeiffyV Oh, go on and try. Guaranteed to make a genius of you. ;)

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  7. This is way easier than angry birds.

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  8. Adventures await :) Thanks for stopping by, Jae.

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  9. They were good guys...into making sure people don't steal your data and they don't use yours for anything.

    Twitter and Klout barely functioned for me the last few days too. Think the soccer game was part of that.

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  10. It took me a couple of days, playing in odd moments to get there, but I made it to level 50 and am officially the 14,869th person to make it onto The Ultimate Problem Solver Wall of Fame.

    I did see a good post on gamifying marketing with simple tolls. I might give that a try.

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  11. what a fantastic story teller you are, love the confidence in your words.

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  12. welcome writing s short story for our week 6 prompt today, bless you.
    cheers,

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.