Wired has a great article on the I Love Bees game. I’ve been peripherally following this since it started, and i’m quite excited about it. In short, I Love Bees is an interactive game played throughout the US, encouraging people to figure out a large storyline and follow clues online and offline at payphones. Absolutely fabulous.
there are some hardcore followers who have enjoyed participating in the I Love Bees game. However there are even more people who feel like tools for following the hype and not receiving a decent payoff.
Check out Bryan Alexander’s post on I Love Bees here (http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2004/07/two_new_alterna.html). He tends to follow trends in alternate reality gaming very closely and, back in July, he theorized that ILB may have been part of a Microsoft/Halo 2 marketing scheme.
To a lesser extent, the use of these techniques in marketing has been around for at least a few years; think of the commercials in which a fake website name or URL is displayed and you find yourself tracking it down on the web. In some cases, the sites contribute to the illusion of reality that began in the televised commercial; in others, the mask comes off and the site is revealed as commercial. In both cases, the main outcome is to sell, sell, sell a product.
I Love Bees / I Heart Huckabees. Coincidence?