The Beast and Bees are 42

The Cloudmakers have been anticipating a Beast-like advertising campaign as the Halo 2 launch drew closer. A post to their email list has confirmed that a site: I Love Bees has the same Beast crew and researcher Jane McGonigal on board. There has been plenty of bee activity it seems on sites like unfiction; an archive of the events during the campaign tells all (if you can figure it out!).

The Beast team have their own company, offering their services creating and producing what they term ‘search operas’ in 4orty 2wo Entertainment

We tell our stories in the form of “search operas” — narratives that spill off the page, the screen, the web, the phone–and into peoples’ lives. We don’t send an advertising message into the maelstrom of other competing messages: we reverse-engineer the process, so that the consumer comes looking for our campaign and our client’s product. We create communities passionately committed to spending not just their money but their imaginations in the worlds we represent.

This form of storytelling or game play — otherwise known as ‘pervasive play’, ‘unfiction’, ‘alternate reality gaming’ — is a model of cross media storytelling. I don’t find it a surprise that they do so well considering their emphasis on the consumer’s ‘imagination’ and the description of it being a ‘narrative’. This is just my point about how GOOD cross media design needs to be story and storyworld driven. But more about this in my paper for IST.

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