Codemasters sets up viral campaign on Facebook

Codemasters is promotingits latest computer game by setting up a Facebook site in the name of a man who almost killed Winston Churchill in 1931.

The viral campaign offers to enter anyone who chooses to become a friend of New York cab driver Mario Contasino into a competition to win a PlayStation 3 and a copy of the new game, called Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.

Contasino was a taxi driver who accidentally knocked down Winston Churchill as he crossed a busy New York City street. The computer game revolves around what might have happened had Churchill died as a result of his injuries.

It predicts that without a strong leader to rally behind, the Allied forces would have succumbed to Hitler. The game focuses on the character Dan Carson, a New York City construction worker, who finds himself fighting in the resistance when the Nazis launch a full-scale invasion of America.

The launch of the game will also be supported by a print campaign in the national and computer press.

Pre-launch work for the game included the creation of a microsite in the style of a 1950s newspaper carrying reports of the resistance fighters’ efforts to beat the Nazis, and a website tracking down the family of Contasino.

Codemasters originally planned to use Nazi imagery in the campaign, but settled on a generic propaganda style.

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