2009 Or - Media Innovation Awards Category Mix Media
The approach taken by the agency was to create an immersive fiction called an ARG or Alternate Reality Game where the new Mazda 3 is at the heart of the quest for players.
Time travelling, a woman from the future, a secret police, mysterious graffiti painted at the four corners of Quebec, a rebellion at the core of a malevolent empire which tries to impose uniformity and sameness on all of humanity... and it all starts with Marie-Claude Perron from MusiquePlus, who’s billboard gets vandalized while she’s doing a report. Where does reality begin? Where does the fiction end? One thing is for sure, the carefully crafted plot inspired by the immersive and interactive fictions or Alternate Reality Games (ARG) is the backdrop for the campaign orchestrated by the Astral Mix team for the launch of the all-new 2010 Mazda 3.
Players are compelled to solve puzzles in order to find one of the 33 keys hidden throughout Quebec. Of the 33, only one will have the power to unlock "The Essence" an all new 2010 Mazda 3, specially designed for the campaign. Until the end of the adventure, players must interact together and remain aware of the slightest signs: Daily reports by Dominic Arpin on Radio NRJ, Marie-Claude’s Perron daily feature on MusiquePlus, bloggers, Xira, a woman who claims she has travelled through time from 2333, unifos, the secret police of a totalitarian government called the Green Cross, and Reperio, an artificial intelligence entity sent from the future.
The story evolves within a scenario in which participants control the content and the end of history. This is indeed a very innovative way of positioning a brand like the Mazda 3 in the heart of consumers.