15 Minutes Into the Future

Hey, a New Use for LinkedIn: A Viral Marketing Campaign for Prometheus

Not gonna lie, we kind of love this.
viral pearce Hey, a New Use for LinkedIn: A Viral Marketing Campaign for <em>Prometheus</em>

Faux Mr. Weyland in a faux TED Talk. (Prometheus-movie.com)

Slightly strange emails from LinkedIn recruiters are nothing out of the ordinary. But writer and UX designer Dustin Curtis (whose work you might recognize) reports that he recently opened his email to one from a James Holm, claiming to be a recruiter from the Weyland Corporation. If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably from the exhaustive marketing campaign for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to the world of Alien. Perhaps you’ve seen the trailer disguised as a commercial for their shiny new model of android; here’s another that’s a spot-on faux TED talk.

That’s right: Unless someone has taken his fandom way too far, it looks like the Prometheus marketing team is using LinkedIn to further its viral marketing campaign.

Mr. Curtis reproduced the entire email at his blog. And boy, is it deadpan:

Hello; my name is James Holm, corporate recruiter for the Weyland Corporation. We’re currently looking for candidates to play a significant role in Project Prometheus, a highly classified initiative we’ve been developing for decades now. We feel that your work in design and technology, along with your interest in the cerebrum, suggest you might be an excellent candidate for our sciences division.

To begin the application process, please visit http://www.ProjectPrometheus.com, where you will encounter several highly sophisticated exercises that aim to determine your core capabilities.

Click through and you’ll land on one of many Prometheus-related viral marketing rabbit holes scattered about the Internet.

Oh, but we haven’t even told you the best part. It continues:

Although the site can be accessed with any browser, we highly recommend using Internet Explorer 9, as the tests were designed and built with this technology in mind.

Synergistic!

Mr. Curtis is pretty forgiving about the whole thing: “It ends up being net positive for everyone. LinkedIn gets money, Prometheus gets more exposure, and I get a satisfying moment of realization,” he writes.

But we should add that it’s not entirely clear whether LinkedIn is getting paid for this. We’ve reached out to both the company and to Fox for comment, in an attempt to determine whether this is the fruit of some formal relationship between LinkedIn and Fox. There’s a very real possibility the eager-beaver Prometheus marketing team is just messaging people the old-fashioned way. We’re also curious to know how many people are getting this email. Given Mr. Curtis’s 35,020 twitter followers, it’s likely they’re just going after (and yes, we hate to use this term) “influencers.”

Either way, we’re not sure whether this is the best use of LinkedIn imaginable, or whether today is the day the world dissolved completely into a William Gibson novel. We’ll update if we figure it out.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com