….there are no rules. This is the first thing you hear when you click over to the trippy website Orange Underground, which is part of an elaborate new online campaign by Cheetos. When you get to the site, you are greeted with a grainy, Dharma Initiative style video. Featuring a nondescript young man in a plain white dress shirt and tie, he explains to viewers the basic rules of the organization RAoC (Random Acts of Cheetos).
The campaign seems targeted to appeal to the mystery solving, viral loving fans of shows like Lost. The creators of the campaign have set up an Orange Underground blog which declares in the “Who am I?” section:
“I am the Gatekeeper. I am only the Gatekeeper. You are the movement.”
The blog features a “RAoC Cookbook” which provides a manual for some suggested Random Acts of Cheetos such as the one you see below:
Over at Adrants, there is speculation that Frito-Lay may have finally caught on to the fact that Chester Cheetah is really creepy. However, it’s unclear to me if AdRants believes that this new campaign is an attempt to move away from the Chester Cheetah character, or if the weirdness of this campaign is embracing the creepiness that is Chester.
Apparently the “organizers” behind Orange Underground are active in the blogosphere as well. When Make the Logo Bigger wrote about the campaign, someone named Cheet01 showed up in the comments a mere 16 minutes after the blog entry was posted, commenting:
“Glad you dig! Your Random Acts of Cheetos intuition (and interactive marketing mojo) is flawless.Now come join the movement and help us stick it to the man! Thanks for the kind words” – Cheet01
Interesting. It appears whoever is behind this campaign is waiting to immediately jump in and engage bloggers who post about Orange Underground. Will Cheet01 be making an appearance here shortly after I post?
The creators of this campaign have also set up a YouTube channel which features, among other clips, a strange 30-second ad with a mysterious Patrick Stewart voiced Chester Cheetah and encourages viewers to join the Orange Underground.
It will be interesting to see how much attention this campaign can attract, and if this unique style of marketing succeeds in getting people interested and engaged in exploring more of the “Orange Underground.” Or will it be merely a novelty that people check out briefly and immediately forget about? Only time will tell, but I am intrigued to see what else Cheetos have planned to create buzz and draw further attention to this campaign.