Saturday, May 17, 2014

Building on the old Dutch Hacker Campaign

The "hidden camera" stunt to trick unsuspecting people into believing a phone-app could hack into street and traffic lights is being used to promote the new videogame WatchDogs. The trailer seems to come in various language versions.

There is also a"making of video| , explaining the lengths the makers went to make the situation real. The most difficult thing I have to believe is that wait for a customer to come in to the shop with an entire camera crew and cast, back room technicians etc. 

It all reminds me of the Dutch Youtube video campaign from Max "the hack" who shows us how he can hack into of the famous Dutch drawbridges even when there are no boats around. Then he does a similar hack at Wageningen railway station, on the motorway and then with the window washing crane outside Microsoft NL headquarters in Schiphol Amsterdam (few times I have seen MacBooks in a Microsoft building when there are cameras around).  

The videos certainly went viral in 2008/2009. I think the goal was to get kids to think about IT as a cool career. But personally I don't think it worked as well as it could have done because anyone with the kind of knowledge they are looking for understands that those analogue railway station signs or the drawbridge have no connection with the cloud. So it is just a fake ad - and there is no real call to action. It could never really happen, no matter what you code. The final ad for the training school is also a bit strange.

Wonder why Philips doesn't sponsor Watchdogs because the Philips Hue system does allow you to play with the lights from your phone.

One more thing. Interesting that when I watch the old Max videos on YouTube, the pre-roll is the Watchdogs ad.

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