Stella’s silence is no mystery

In discussing Stella Artois’ “mystery” online game (MW last week), Martin Croft notes that “both Stella and Draft London declined to comment”.

I’m not surprised, and for two reasons: brand and agency are surely keen to make out they’ve successfully created a “mystery”, but deep down – or not even that deep – they probably also know it’s hardly been a success.

If it were a success along the lines of AI or Xbox, then one would expect to find more than 27 references to Sable Shuck (the game’s “mysterious” domain name) through Google and still more – rather than precisely zero – on a search of news groups.

It’s also worth noting that denials of involvement are pointless if you leave an obvious trail of domain registration data that leads back to Draft London within a few minutes of digging.

Done well, alternate reality games are fantastic – done badly they can at best lead to PR of dubious brand value.

Duncan Arbour

Head of sales and marketing

Oyster Partners

London WC1

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