Update 2: Kim Pallister read this blog. Seth Godin reads Kim's blog. Seth's blog gets a lot of traffic (and rightfully so -- man does he ever have a lot to say!) and he linked to this post of mine yesterday morning. I've recieved more visits in the last 24 hours then my accumulative traffic log for the life of the blog. Hopefully some of the new visitors will find the musings of a videogame producer interesting.
Update 3: I'm ashamed I neglected to link to this in my initial posting, but you can read all about Red5's campaign direct from the horse's mouth here. Check it out, and remember to support them when they release their WoW Killer.
So imagine you are sitting at your desk one day and a FedEx parcel arrives for you. Depending on what you do, just this fact might already have you excited, but regardless of your position, if you aren't expecting any deliveries the scene from The Matrix when Neo recieves the cell phone from Morpheus has to spring to mind. "What life-altering adventure awaits me when I open this up?".
So you open the box and find inside a series of 'Russian Doll' type nested boxes, each more beautiful then the last. Written on each box a section of what appears to be a riddle.
Of course, as you open each subsequent box the attention to detail in this package is sure to start to attract attention. Some of your coworkers would certainly be drawn to the affair and hover around to know more.
So finally you reach the fifth and last box, open it up, and find an iPod shuffle. But not just any iPod - this one is custom engraved with your name! There is also a small note informing you that a message is waiting for you on the iPod. Red Pill or Blue Pill?
So, turning the iPod on reveals a single track -- a personalized message that starts out: "(insert your name here)
Mark Kern is talking to you personally telling you why he thinks you would be the perfect fit for his new company, Red 5, and asking you to get in touch to discuss a potential job offer. And he is doing so in a way that has made you feel like the most valuable developer on the planet, worthy of significant investment in terms of time and energy to do nothing more then get your attention. Finally he has done it in such a way that makes no attempt at hiding his interest to your colleagues and bosses at your current place of employment.
So, what would you do? Would you contact him back to discuss further, even if you were extremely happy at your current job?
If you answered yes, you aren't alone. A recruitment campaign like this is undeniably flattering and powerful and is likely to have a near 100% response rate (at least in as far as getting in touch, if not necessarily accepting the position). The people at Red 5 who developed this campaign took everything they knew about developers in the game industry (likely to get and appreciate matrix reference. Check. Likely to be impressed by WoW credentials. Check. Likely to be intrigued by the enigma of the whole package and try to unravel the meaning of the riddle thus getting more absorbed in the total package. Check) and wrapped it all into a package that would be impossible to ignore. I am floored by the ingenuity and creativity of it all.
Read here for an account of one recipient who, interestingly, seems not to have taken the bait.