Digital agency Naked Penguin Boy were commissioned by Dreamworks SKG and Paramount to create an online viral campaign as part of their online media and PR work for the worldwide release of the cartoon Flushed Away on DVD.
In response, Naked Penguin Boy fired the starting gun on “The Great Slug Race”. The game features slugs slowly competing in the style of mechanical fairground horse races. The welcome screen shows a demonstration slug race staged in a sewer waterway. Behind are images and elements from the cartoon’s story and includes a screen showing clips of the film.
Once registered and logged in, users choose the slug they think is going to win. A screensaver depicting slugs from “The Great Slug Race” can be downloaded that counts down to the start of the race. Once the race has started, the screensaver then counts down to the ‘Flushed Away’ DVD release date – localised for each territory.
Emails alerted users two days before the race started. They then received weekly updates about their slug’s progress but could check online anytime. Tokens were emailed during the course of the race to speed up or slow down any slug in the race.
The first slug home prompted an email to the territory winner linking them to their prize of an exclusive ‘Flushed Away’ screensaver. All entrants received ‘Flushed Away’ desktop wallpaper. Users could return to the site to see the three front “runners” holding their trophies.
“The Great Slug Race” was seeded across the net in general with advertising on several major kids’ sites and portals including Toonattik, CiTV, Jetix and The Disney Channel. It was seeded across 15 territories.