Thule Trail: Oregon Trail remixed with roof racks and without Dysentery. genius?

thuletrail.jpg

So when I first saw the “Thule Trail” advergame a few months back, I was in awe, but thought it would just fizzle away unnoticed, like most of the things that really catch my eye. Turns out I was wrong. After several months, it has over 1600 diggs, and just recently popped up onto Kotaku‘s radar, continuing it’s upward-moving publicity spiral.

This beautiful remake of the early 80’s Broderbund classic, Oregon Trail, has captured the hearts of a generation. I grew up playing Oregon Trail in school (it taught us the history of our state!) back when the game came on a floppy disk that was actually floppy.  I miss those days. and so do thousands of others, apparently. While I am a self-proclaimed roof-rack nerd and have both Thule and Yakima rack systems, many people out there aren’t. Which makes Thule Trail so effective. Strong yet not overly direct branding. and the key is that people don’t really care that it’s advertising, because the agency (TDA Advertising in Boulder, CO) was able to channel the message through a unique medium that people are so enamored with, it’s okay!
As taken from a comment on digg:

I know this is an advertisement, but it’s so cool and well done that I really don’t care. Oregon Trail FTW!

Again, I’m impressed with it all. A nice use of flash, a nice adaptation of a classic, an obviously effective way to reach the target, and a highly successful advertising piece. I’m 8-bit impressed.

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