The Launch of Halo 2: The i love bees marketing campaign

The year is 2552 and an AI named “Melissa” , originally a SPARTAN-II washout called Yasmine Zaman, is operating the stealth ship Apocalypso.  During slipspace travel,after locating a Forerunner artifact, an enormous explosion caused by the artifact part of Melissa to 2004 landing on the ilovebees website. This is where the story begins…

The client

The “I love bees” marketing campaign was developed by 42 entertainment, for the Microsoft game studies, as an alternate reality game to promote the launch the Halo 2 video game. The basis for this campaign, and for alternate reality games in general, is to weave a large scale interactive narrative which utilises real world media to deliver the story. In the case of the I Love Bees campaign the narrative delivered through its website, telephones and audio files.

The campaign 

Fans where first introduced to the campaign via subliminal messages on the Halo 2 trailer directing them to the ilovebees.com website. At first the sight appeared be hacked by a mysterious intelligence however through investigation the viewers would be directed to payphones across the US, as well as other countries around the world. After answering questions correctly audio clips would be released on the website and when threaded together would form a Halo audio drama.  The fully ilovebees synopsis  can be found at the Halo Nation wiki page.

The Results

The campaign generated significant press coverage in the New York Times and other mainstream outlets as well as selling $125 million copies on the first day of release. As you can see creativity sells…

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