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|Clues · Revelations · Sponsorship · Websites|
A cartoon from Exclaim! magazine, parodying the game's market sponsorship .
According to the producers of the Lost Experience, some clues to the game would be revealed in advertisements across a variety of media, including television, newspapers, and billboards. Several of the TV commercials and in-game websites were sponsored by corporations, including Sprite®, Jeep®, Monster.com and Verizon Wireless, with which the show had a previously existing cross-promotion agreement. The product placement serves as stealth advertisements of a kind: While not marketing their product directly, they promote brand recognition of their product amongst a demographically desirable market group (the presumably young, likely affluent fans of Lost). In turn, the game's designers gain funding, allowing them to further the game and, for instance, manufacture real Apollo bars. The designers could also hide clues on sponsor websites or in magazine advertisements for the sponsor companies (namely in Entertainment Weekly and People Magazine).
Hanso Foundation commercial
The kickoff advertisement was a television commercial for the Hanso Foundation that aired during the episode Two for the Road in the U.S., "Man of Science, Man of Faith" in Britain, and "The Hunting Party" in Australia on the first week of May. The 15-second spot, which also appeared on the Hanso Foundation website, featured a voiceover that announced: "Since the dawn of time, man has been curious, imagining all that is possible. The Hanso Foundation: reaching out to a better tomorrow. Discover the experience for yourself." It then displayed a toll-free number that viewers could call to discover the first major 'clue' of the game.
Newspaper ad, reposted to THF.org as a press release.
- The narrator voice in this ad is Carlton Cuse
- In the Republic of Ireland, no telephone number was provided, just the web address www.thehansofoundation.org. Also, there was no background music in the advert.
"Don't Believe Bad Twin" newspaper ad
On 9 May 2006, a newspaper ad placed by The Hanso Foundation in response to the release of Bad Twin appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe (page A4), Washington Post (May 10, page A7), and presumably other major papers. Claiming to be from Hugh McIntyre, the ad is entitled "Don't Believe Bad Twin" and stated that "The truth about the Hanso Foundation is available at www.TheHansoFoundation.org and not on the pages of Gary Troup's Bad Twin."
Main sponsor involvement
Sprite ad with glyph clue "CHOCOLATES" in Entertainment Weekly.
The website, owned by Sprite®, hid many in-game clues that were revealed over the duration of the Lost Experience.
In addition to this, the Project Sumo subplot concluded with the suggestion that Dr. Hackett had taken his research on psychotropic drugs to the Sprite® company. This was possibly just a humorous gag on the part of the game writers.
Jeep ad with glyph clue "THEFLASHLIGHT" in Entertainment Weekly.
On the third week of May, a Hanso commercial aired, guiding the viewers to the site Letyourcompassguideyou.com. This ad was sponsored by Jeep®, makers of the Compass 4WD. On the website, there was also links to the Jeep Compass site, as well as a poster showing the development of the company.
The Jeep Compass website also housed a number of Rachel Blake video blogs. Furthermore, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation (which owns Jeep), was also involved in the Missing organs folder subplot of the game. The Hanso Foundation planned to use Jeep vehicles to transport their illegally harvested organs. The writers of the Experience were sure to point out that DaimlerChrysler immediately rescinded any contract with the Foundation upon learning this. In the narrative of the game, William T. Kilpatrick works for Jeep as a liaison. He also appeared in an in-game video, interrupting singer Eric Hutchinson, but only after he had stated that he was playing as part of a "Jeep Tour promotional event".
Monster ad in Entertainment Weekly cluing to the "TROPICS" glyph found on the company website.
In the fourth week of May, the Hanso Foundation aired their commercial again and displayed a website Hansocareers.com. This ad was sponsored by Monster.com, as indeed was the website.
Monster also appeared during the glyph section of the Lost Experience, posting some codes on its site, as well as including codes on their advertisements in magazines. For instance, in Entertainment Weekly, a full page showed a regular Monster.com advert, with the Hanso Foundation logo superimposed on one of the stadium seats. A glyph was also included, indicating a code was hidden somewhere on the company website, and the URL "hansoexposed.com" was written in small print in the bottom left corner (see image).
Verizon ad in Entertainment Weekly, indicating the location of the "QUARANTINE" glyph code hidden on richerdeeperbroader.com]
In the first week of June, a Hanso commercial ad ran during an episode of Boston Legal that displayed the website Retrieversoftruth.com. This ad was sponsored by Verizon and redirected to an anti-Hanso site run by fictional Verizon employees called Retrievers of Truth.
Verizon also used two additional sites as part of the Lost Experience agreement - richerdeeperbroader.com and broadbandstories.com. On the former, clues were posted, specifically in relation to the glyph codes. On the latter, one of Rachel Blake's video blogs was posted, as well as Mittelwerk videos about the benefits of broadband.
The company also gained publicity in the Retrievers of Truth message board, where the fictional employees mentioned some of their products (e.g. FiOS).
- Kickoff commerical
- Let Your Compass Guide You Commercial
- HansoCareers.com Commercial