Yahoo! was looking for an interesting way to engage customers on their new platform. Toyota was looking for a marketing opportunity. Thus, Trixi was looking for her sister, Max. Participants in the PSTrixi campaign were asked to hack fictional security cameras, eavesdrop on voicemails, swap clues on web forums, and even attend live events for information on Max’s disappearance.

This kind of mixed-media narrative branding is growing in popularity, but I would love to see some research on its effects. Sure, it’s fun and is an obvious choice for Yahoo to engage customers by creating an Alternative Reality Game on its own platform, but will this help Toyota sell cars?