Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Follow up to Schtock - I was had!!!

Wow! I have to say this was all pretty brilliant. It had me going. Last week I posted about Schtock, a blog kept by "anonymous", who worked at a major stock photo company. Leaving clues that led people to Corbis, this blog was posted on over 150 separate sites in just 4 days (including this one). It was all a faux-viral marketing plan by General Projects a newly formed design shop, to get the attention of Corbis and their intended audience. (this was their first project - self assigned). It will be interesting to see if Corbis works with them, sponsor's the site, or files a cease and desist.

Read the below press release posted yesterday:

/ For immediate release

General Projects

As a newly formed design shop, General Projects launched with a self-assigned first project – to get the attention of Corbis and eventually turn that into a client relationship. This was done by launching a faux-viral campaign online with the intention of getting the Corbis name in front of as many members of their target audience as possible on a limited budget. posed itself as the brain-child of a stock photo employee who cataloged images for a living. Inspired by the photos that crossed his desk on a daily basis, he “couldn’t help but play around.” Schtock was the result of these visual experiments. While Corbis was never overtly mentioned in order to maintain the plausibility of the site’s motivations, the photos used were of such a nature that they could only be found in their deep library of both contemporary and historical images. As the site was updated daily with new images and blog posts, it was launched via personal emails sent to select sites. The blogosphere was actively encouraged to believe that Corbis was the source of the campaign by way of clues that were left around the site, driving up traffic and intrigue.

- Mentioned on over 150 separate sites, putting the Corbis brand in front of over 200,000 viewers over the course of 4 days.
- Over 20,000 unique visitors to the site itself during just 4 days.
- Positive feedback across the board:

“Schtock: Modern Day Folk Hero”
- Veer

“Of course it’s viral advertising. Smart too.”
- Comment, PDN Magazine

“I hope this blog becomes so popular that the company this person works for, sponsors it or lets him list the company’s name, such a great advertisement for their images.”
- Hero Design Studio

“Possibly suspect, but one of the most interesting links i’ve seen on here for a while”
- Comment,

“..whether this is just some guy who get’s bored at work, or a genius marketing campaign, it seems to be stirring up the design blog world.”
- Design Fix

“STOP getting hung up on the idea that video is the only thing that can be ‘viral.’ [Here are] examples that border on guerilla, experiential, interactive, whatever. First, for Corbis, check out schtock stock.”
- Make The Logo Bigger

See select Schtock images attached

About General Projects:
General Projects is a full-service design agency that focuses on highly original marketing concepts with limited budgets.

While a partner at his previous firm, Fwis, General Projects founder Ben Pieratt launched such projects as Readymech, The Covers Blog, The Museum of Art for the Arts, and Readycam.

CD: Ben Pieratt
Dev: Eric Jacobsen

Relevant URLs:

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Ben Pieratt
Creative Director
General Projects

Cell: +1 978 / 491-7637
Fax: +1 978 / 231-0407

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