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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Google Launches the DaVinci Code Quest

I2m_davinciquest_1 One of the surest ways to confirm your uber-geek status is to be able to solve riddles, puzzles, and other mental challenges.  Google first made it's mark in this world with their innovative recruiting billboards in the valley designed to drive techno-geeks to a secret URL to test their intellect in order to get a job with Google.  It was the ultimate filter that only the smartest candidates would be able to pass - and those that did "won" an interview with Google.  You have to appreciate a company that understands and fosters what makes it's people and culture unique.  In another example of this, Google is working with Sony Pictures and just launched the DaVinci Code Quest, an irresistable series of games and mental puzzles designed to get people to think of themselves as mystery solvers and build anticipation for the upcoming release of The DaVinci Code Movie.  The site launched yesterday and will run over the next 24 days and present new puzzles every day at varying levels of difficulty.  The smartest part of this promotion (aside from how nicely it ties to Google's brand essence) is how integrated the puzzles promise to be with Google's products.  To play you need to add the game to your Google homepage.  Erick Schonenfield of the Business 2.0 blog insightfully points out many other opportunities that Google may have to integrate it's range of products into future puzzles.  In the end, the promotion looks like a winner on all fronts, successfully building buzz for the movie, driving people to the official movie website, engaging users with a highly viral site, and helping spread the word about Google's many products in the process.  If only every online promotion was this good ...

Note: For a great insider summary of details behind this cobranded promotion between Google and Sony, check out John Battelle's post based on his conversation with Marisa Mayer from Google.


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Such stupid brain-dead puzzles. The author of the blog on googleblog says that he designed 200 puzzles in college before he got exhausted. Looks like he's still exhausted. What happened to those 200 puzzles? Are they in these 24 puzzles? My cat can solve these jokes.

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