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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Living the game: ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ takes objects from the real world and puts them in a virtual reality

Bad+Robot
Photo by Graphic by Jacob Martindale
Bad Robot

In today’s world we are inundated with so many different advertisements and marketing campaigns that I catch myself in a constant struggle to avoid them. However the team behind the soon-to-be-released movie “10 Cloverfield Lane” is implementing a marketing scheme that has fans — me being one — begging for more.  

Secret email addresses, USB drives buried underground, burner phones tucked away in lockers and some soda pop — all of these are different clues that play a part in the “10 Cloverfield Lane” alternate-reality game, or ARG. 

ARGs are complex games that blend a movie’s fiction with the real-world, and a full-fledged ARG is currently raging on between 10 Cloverfield’s studio and a host of people scattered about the nation who coordinate through Reddit and other online platforms. 

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is a mysterious thriller that pits a car-crash survivor who wakes up in an underground bunker against her purported “savior,” who claims that soon after her crash the world ended and she is only alive thanks to his bunker. The film’s producer, J.J. Abrams, and much of the symbolism seen in the film’s trailers thus far all pointed to a full-scale ARG that has since exploded across the Internet community. 

Fans have turned into hint-hungry detectives who will tear apart every frame of a trailer as soon as it is released. This is a marketer’s dream — everything that has anything to do with their product will instantly be shared around this group of people within an instant, in the hopes of unlocking another clue. 

ARGs can greatly build on the movie-watching experience itself. All of this information outside of the movie’s screentime adds to the depth of the universe of a film, thus turning this arguably above average monster flick — into a thrilling adventure with a deep backstory. 

The Cloverfield ARG was one of the most prolific ARGs that has ever taken place. Months before the movie was released the wheels of the Cloverfield ARG were set in motion. Through the ARG the marketing team at Bad Robot Productions created MySpace profiles for characters, fake news reports and entirely made up cooperation with questionable ethics. 

Because of  J.J. Abram’s and Bad Robot Productions reputation of putting on ARGs, with the release of the first trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane” murmurs of a similar game started to circulate around the Internet. People who participate in the 2008 Cloverfield ARG started receiving emails from previously-thought dead email addresses of the “Tagruato Corporation.” With this spark of interest fans looked into the soda that is featured in the “10 Cloverfield Lane” trailer — a drink called Slusho played a critical role in the previous ARG — and they found that the website sold a “Long-Term Shelter Supply” of their soda for $4,813 that is now sold out. 

Although it is still argued whether or not Swap Pop is “in game” or not, there’s no doubt a full fledged ARG is in full swing for the release of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” I wish I could explain everything that has happened in the ARG since those humble beginnings, but it would take a little more than one column to do that. I strongly encourage you to do your own research online and you yourself may be pulled into the game.

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