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Headquarters and Portfolios of Mr. Noodle

W+K SEEKING is NOT looking for Noodle

Thursday 28 February 2008 - Filed under Uncategorized

Yes, I submitted something to Wieden and Kennedy’s giant cattle call that they named W+K Seeking. The advertising monolith requested any and all comers submit a PDF of work to them for review. They would fly the creators of the best work to their Portland offices where they would see what happened. I guess that meant a job? It was a tad cryptic (which I liked).

I was so hoping for a flight to Portland.
Oh.. yeah.

I wasn’t going to send anything at first. Something about the whole thing seemed to be American Idol-y or the Apprentice-y. I’m SO done with that reality show shlock as I think everyone should be. I’d be damned if I was going to stand up in front of ad execs and have them judge me on camera and then make me sing.

It also looked like they were going to have something decided and going in March which I told myself was getting too close to baby time.

I’m getting really tired of having to prove myself as well.

Oh yeah, and I already have a job.

That’s all good loser speak for “Oh, I didn’t want it anyway”.

Inspiration hit though as I noted here in the journal back then, probably while washing dishes. I got a little scheme brewing and submitted my PDF.

Here’s what I sent.

So what was I thinking?

They asked for a 11 by 17 landscape PDF document no more than 20 pages long. I sent them a one page PDF with one photo and one sentence.

I thought it would be something different and unusual for them in the midst of going through a mountain of 20 page PDF portfolio pieces. I think quite a few other people had the same thought.

It was a gamble. I wanted them to puzzle over it and maybe think,
“I wonder what would happen if I put the sentence, ‘robots biting their thumbs at each other’ into a search engine?”

If they did do that, the Jack Noodle Journal would pop up to the top (of Google) and they would click and go to this post. Yes, the post that faithful readers of the Journal were getting annoyed with that kept moving around.

From there they would be able to get to my portfolio site and work.

I have been fascinated with alternate reality gaming lately and how it plays into marketing. I love what was done with find815.com and the fun of discovering the Lost billboard. I am also into the artistry of 42 Entertainment and the work they are doing on projects like Year Zero. I think as the war for eyeballs wages on we are going to see all kinds of lines continue to blur in new and interesting ways. Is it an ad? A story? A game? Am I on the internet? What sort of devices and formats are being mixed and matched? How will the viewer, user, fan, reader, artist, player participate in the making of the content?

I wanted my submission to be seen as the starting point for an ARG campaign. Make them go on a scavenger hunt to find my work.
The “used jelly” post paints a weird story line and makes the reader think there may be more clues buried in the text.

I figured that if the Wieden and Kennedy kids going through and reviewing the submissions really got what I was trying to do and appreciated the merits of the attempt, I would be stoked if they picked me to work on whatever project they had requiring that sort of thinking and creativity. If they didn’t get it and were annoyed that someone only sent a photo with a sentence, then it was probably fine that I didn’t get picked.

Could I be any more highfalutin?

About 12 hours after emailing in my submission, I started to get antsy and began to fidget.

I was starting to think that only hinting at the possibility of an extended ARG experience wouldn’t be enough. I was going to have to go all the way!

I saw that one possible direction that could be taken from the post was that there could be clues at this place called the Pirate’s Cove where the mysterious meeting took place.

prate's cove bar shaped like a jug!

I was really excited when I found out that the Pirate’s Cove was actually a giant jug! When I originally wrote about the meeting I was thinking of the Pirate’s Cove over by the Jolly Roger on Hawthorne.

I put a picture of the Pirate’s Cove in my Flickr account to leave an even more obvious clue.

If the viewer actually went to the Pirate’s Cove they would eventually find a Jack Noodle sticker in the men’s restroom with /555-7306.pdf written on it with a sharpie.

toilet in the men's room of the pirate's cove

Then putting 2 and 2 together the player would get back on the internet and find that the 555-7306 number took them to this file.

The player, viewer, or whatever would then get an email address that they could contact for further instructions or maybe I was going to send them a doodle or something. I was going to use the email as a way of confirming if someone put all the puzzle pieces together.

Nobody ever emailed though.

So that was that.
My submission was complete.

Probably not that great of a ARG mystery though.

The Wieden and Kennedy folks say that they picked 40 winners out of the 1600 entries they received.

I don’t think I was picked but I might have to go back to the Pirate’s Cove to see if there are any clues that they may have left for me that could lead to my missing acceptance letter.

This guy here was picked as one of the 40, and has links to some of the other entries that were submitted.

There was some pretty good stuff!

I probably would have gotten a bit further if I would have hit harder with a more attention grabbing initial piece. I should have thought a bit more about the audience that would be looking at it at first. With 1600 submissions to go through there’s no way that they were going to spend the time with it that I was demanding.

I think it was a pretty entertaining exercise and I did learn some things.

My next outing as a dungeon master will be even more informed now with the experience.

2008-02-28  »  Noodle