You probably remember the Stella Artois ads (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) where someone will go through anything to keep his bottle of this favourite beer - always with a twist at the end. Those were very clever ads and they have now moved the same kind of content into their new website.
I am writing about this because of the technology behind it, and because I was surprised with an invitation to an on-line event (or something like this) that Stella Artois is promoting here in New Zealand.
Now, I am not sure how the PR folks for the beer maker found out this is the beer I order (and the one I have in my fridge right now) - but I am curious nonetheless.
Just one thing to complain (because we have to have our voice heard!)... Stella Artois is brewed in New Zealand, under supervision. But cafes and restaurants still list it under "Imported Beers", which I think is cheeky of them.
It's obviously an air guitar solo, right?
And no annual fees. Of course. No time to pay fees. People are too busy eating pizza, drinking beer and playing WoW...
Only available in the U.S. though.
Congratulations on a game well played, and thank you for helping us disappear.
You were not the first to guess our identity, but because you played our game, we want to tell you our secret.
There is no such person as Loki - or rather, she is four sisters who decided to be one extraordinary person.
Each of us has a unique talent:
Lorelei is our tinkerer. Clocks and counting, space and time: she is our genius.
Odessa is our performer, our actress and magician, the girl we send in to dazzle and charm. Odessa goes to meetings: Loki gets promoted. It's very convenient.
Kara is our reader. With a love of history and a photographic memory, she gives us access to any fact, figure, or event at a moment's notice.
Ivy is our spy. She's the girl you dont notice, the face you don't remember, and vanishing is what she does best. Ivy has gotten us out of more than one impossible situation.
Together, we have presented L.O.K.I. to the world. Our mask and super-hero, LOKI has allowed us each to be bigger than ourselves.
When we heard Microsoft and AMD were looking to give extraordinary prizes to exceptional people, we knew LOKI could never find a more perfect job. This, Odessa said, would be a trick we could never top. O, how we wanted this job! (And what clever, unfair, underhanded things we did to the other applicants to make sure we got it! But that's another story.) And once we got the job, we all agreed that Loki's greatest triumph would be her last.
We created the Vanishing Point to reward the smartest minds (and communities) on the planet - and still we underestimated you. We used our smarts and our guile, not to mention money and connections and countless hours of time - and still you humbled us. We knew the terrain and barely gave you a mapand that didn't stop you. We built puzzles that should have taken you days and you solved them in hours.
"Loki" is a genius: but you were far more brilliant. You were thought made fire. You were lightning.
Thank you for your work, your talent, and your dedication. It has been a privilege to witness: an honor and a delight.
For each of us to live, Loki had to die. Thank you, thank you beyond words for taking her to the Vanishing Point.
And the massive on-line and real life game is now finished. For each puzzle you solved some more points were added to your account, and the organisers will soon draw some prizes, including a trip to the edge of space, plus PCs and software. Good luck in the draw.
You can find much more information in the Vanishing Point Wiki.