Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Balloonacy - the Great Orange Internet Balloon Race

Today sees the launch of what is billed as ‘The World’s First Internet Balloon Race’… and you’ve guessed it, it’s a marketing tool for our friends over at Orange.

The concept seems simple enough. You pick a balloon – I have a canary called Huckerby (Get it? – And yes I know we’ve not renewed his contract), and you pilot said inflatable around the net, picking up power boosts and bonuses on the way. There are (I think prizes for winners etc, but for me the more interesting part is the way the campaign interacts with the web.

I really like the way Orange are using other sites, almost as partners, generating traffic and presumably building bridges between each and orange (which has to be of some value to their corporate and business teams). I’ll report more on the functionality and how Huckerby is getting along later.

Quite apart from the whole balloon mechanic being unnecessarily confusing (Do I really care enough to find out what in the world a Camel Balloon package is?), the balloon race is a really nice, fun, summery execution of the central theme – and I for one will be playing (outside work time of course). So if you are bored and feel like giving my balloon a prod (apparently that makes them go faster too), look out for the only Canary with any realistic chance of flying high this season...

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