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What Is Bright Dawn?

Is this the start of some SouthPeak viral marketing? Or junk mail?

OK, so I'm kind of going out on a limb here by posting this, but I can't help but be intrigued by a bit of mail that showed up at Giant Bomb today. At first glance, it appears to just be a brochure for Bright Dawn Treatment Center, whose slogan is "It's Always Darkest Before Dawn!" Initially I figured we had just managed our way onto some weird mailing list, but there were a few clues that suggested this wasn't on the up-and-up.

For starters, the phone number on the brochure is (881) 222-6666--a pretty conspicuous number for sure, and one that, when dialed, doesn't actually go anywhere. There's also an address for Pelf, Michigan on the brochure, which Google Maps insists isn't a real place, and similar searches for Bright Dawn Treatment Center came up with no substantive results. The real clincher, though, was the included note encouraging us to send back the included postcard if we were interested in Bright Dawn's services, which was signed by one Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.D. Say that name out loud a few times, and it should be pretty clear that someone's playing games.

So, what does it all mean? Well, the first theory in the office was that this was for Alan Wake, though the included postcard featured a PO Box address in Grapevine, Texas, a town which SouthPeak Interactive happens to have offices in. An inquiry to the PR team that handles SouthPeak games produced little more than a coy response, which I'll call confirmation enough. 

I'm usually not huge on viral marketing or ARGs, but I have to admit that this was done convincingly enough that I'm willing to bite. I'll be sending off the postcard tomorrow, though I suspect we'll hear something once E3 kicks off. In the meantime, check out the materials we received and get to speculating!

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Posted by Ryan
OK, so I'm kind of going out on a limb here by posting this, but I can't help but be intrigued by a bit of mail that showed up at Giant Bomb today. At first glance, it appears to just be a brochure for Bright Dawn Treatment Center, whose slogan is "It's Always Darkest Before Dawn!" Initially I figured we had just managed our way onto some weird mailing list, but there were a few clues that suggested this wasn't on the up-and-up.

For starters, the phone number on the brochure is (881) 222-6666--a pretty conspicuous number for sure, and one that, when dialed, doesn't actually go anywhere. There's also an address for Pelf, Michigan on the brochure, which Google Maps insists isn't a real place, and similar searches for Bright Dawn Treatment Center came up with no substantive results. The real clincher, though, was the included note encouraging us to send back the included postcard if we were interested in Bright Dawn's services, which was signed by one Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.D. Say that name out loud a few times, and it should be pretty clear that someone's playing games.

So, what does it all mean? Well, the first theory in the office was that this was for Alan Wake, though the included postcard featured a PO Box address in Grapevine, Texas, a town which SouthPeak Interactive happens to have offices in. An inquiry to the PR team that handles SouthPeak games produced little more than a coy response, which I'll call confirmation enough. 

I'm usually not huge on viral marketing or ARGs, but I have to admit that this was done convincingly enough that I'm willing to bite. I'll be sending off the postcard tomorrow, though I suspect we'll hear something once E3 kicks off. In the meantime, check out the materials we received and get to speculating!

Staff
Edited by Coltonio7

Half Life Ep. 3.

Totally. Black Mesa, Aperture Science and Bright Dawn.

Edited by Crono11

I'm not going to lie, I really like viral marketing especially when it's done well.

Edited by Rion1

Looks pretty Alan Wake-y to me. Say what you will, I dig the ARG. The Dark Knight FTW.

Also, did anyone else in the area get the brochure, or just the vidya game writin' shindig?

Posted by Systech

IT'S A COVER!

Posted by ZarakixKenpachi

If that truly is marketing for Alan Wake, or any other game for that matter, that is amazing. Messes with your mind.

Posted by AllanIceman

Hmmm... Get Columbo on the case!

Posted by Bigandtasty

Road trip to Pelf, Michigan!

Posted by JackiJinx

So, which one of you sirs or madams is interested in therapy?

Posted by Diamond

They're just an upstart rehab center that will focus on gaming addiction.

Edited by Not_Rage
Posted by Harknett

ProStroke Golf 2009!

Edited by Serker
Coltonio7 said:
Half Life Ep. 3. Totally. Black Mesa, Aperture Science and Bright Dawn.
first thing I thought too :P... definately not what it is though, that "What's In the Box" teaser nonsense already confirmed what the other companies are outside of Black Mesa and Aperture Science.

This is a really creepy brochure though. My Mynd has been Faulked.

Edit: Jabberwocked told me What's In The Box" had NOTHING to do with Half-Life Ep 3... so now that I know that... I'm even more confused.
Posted by torus

I'm betting on Alan Wake. Which would be awesome, since I'm quite interested in that game.

Posted by TurboMan

Duke Nukem?

Online
Posted by yoshimitz707

Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.D

What am I supposed to hear when i say this?

Edited by Death_Unicorn

I love it when developers go out of their way to make stuff like this.

Posted by NathHaw

I went to Bright Dawn when I was suffering from my addiction.  They were a helpful staff who understood the real me when no one else did.  How dare you imply they aren't real!

Edited by MrKlorox
  My first thought was Alan Wake before I even read the story.

yoshimitz707 said:
Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.D

What am I supposed to hear when i say this?
A Mind Fucker
Posted by jacobshock
yoshimitz707 said:
Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.DWhat am I supposed to hear when i say this?
Mind f***er
Posted by RetroIce4

Mind Fuck... Not again!

Posted by high_seraph

i dunno about allan wake, of course i also don't know much about this game.


the first thing i also thought of was Aperture Science and Black Mesa... of course this type of advertising also seems somewhat un-Valve-like.
Posted by LiquidPrince

Pretty sick. Assassin's Creed II maybe? Animus escapee?

Posted by Scarecrow_

Has to be Alan Wake. Didn't one of the very first trailers even have that "It's always darkest before the dawn" slogan? I know it's a line from the Dark Knight....but...

This is strange though. I mean Alan Wake has been off the radar for so long, for it to return with ... this... it's very strange.

Posted by Ineedaname

I googled a small section of that text and found in sections they've just copied and pasted things and just replaced the title of the original company and put Bright Dawn. Lazy.

Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

If its something from SouthPeak you should wipe your ass with it because it's for a product that can't be worth worrying about.  X-Blades 2 perhaps?

Here's to hoping it's from someone else because it looks kind of interesting.

Posted by Coldfront

this is viral marketing done right. it took you  paying attention to catch it GOOD JOB RYAN!

Posted by stephengotlost

What if Mynd Faulker really is just a desperate psychiatrist?

Posted by HeyLookIJust

Looks like a neat viral marketing thing.  I enjoy it if it is well done.  Other than the way too stupidly obvious name I think it was pretty well done.  The crude language of the game as far as I remember does not seem to be valve's style really I would think.  Or at least I don't totally seeing them putting it in like that. 

Posted by TheGamerGeek

That's great, when people do this stuff right, it's so fantastic.

Posted by jakob187

Obviously, a lot of people in the comments section don't know how to read.  Alan Wake is a Remedy-developed game being published by Microsoft.  Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed is a Ubisoft game that I'm sure Ubisoft will publish.


This is SouthPeak Games, a company who isn't really known for...anything.

My guess?  Zombie game.
Posted by SeymourBewty

I can't say I trust anything with a South Peak logo on it anymore.  Velvet Assassin was the last straw.  Never again :P

Posted by Aeterna

Hahah, nice one. 

I enjoy these. :)

Posted by deaux

It's probably promotional, but what a weird promotion.  Viral stuff should at least appeal to a target demographic, shouldn't it?  Does any part of it make you excited about playing rad games?  Nope.

But, you posted about it, so Mission Accomplished.

Posted by MrKlorox
deaux said:
It's probably promotional, but what a weird promotion.  Viral stuff should at least appeal to a target demographic, shouldn't it?  ... [more]
The target demographic is the gaming press, which then filters it to us. We both are and are not the target demographic for this promotion. It's not supposed to get one excited about rad games, it's supposed to incite curiosity which is often better for awareness.
Posted by rargy

Fill it out in Vinnys name just in case it turns out to be real.

Posted by TheClap

This is pretty darn cool. But you guys read your mail way closer than I do.  That would have hit the bottom of my garbage pale before you could shake a stick

Posted by Agnogenic_delete

Whoa. That is kind of freaky.

Posted by theMcNasty

Oh, that pesky Dr. A Mind Fucker is at it again.

Posted by georgecletus

lol a mind F$%&er

Posted by MrMiyagi

Viral marketing always creeps me out for some reason.

Posted by TheHT

Damn that musta been something creepy going through that stuff Ryan.

Posted by Beomoose

2 words:

Alan Wake

Edited by ahoodedfigure

I used to think ARGs were creepy, but after reading the interviews of the people running them, I kinda like the idea that people would be so playful with reality.  As long as it isn't forced on you, though.  Then, yes, it would be creepy.

I did some digging and found out that just across the lake in another city close to Grapevine is a development house used by Nintendo to develop a version of Pilotwings, and in Grapevine itself is a company that makes flight simulations that likes to plaster big, angry-looking eagles all over the front page.

The Assassin's Creed idea has merit, just by the theme of the brochure...  Oh wait, they also did Velvet Assassin, didn't they?

Another thematic consistency at SouthPeak is Section 8 (the military designation for Corporal Klinger) which is an upcoming game for them.  It's a bit of a stretch, but it might be that they talk about "false memories" of you being from the military in the future.

"Pelf" means riches, by the way; it's a ruse, man!

This is fun!

Posted by imazombienazi

creeepyy...nice viral marketing. could be hl2 or alanwake.

Posted by MattyFTM

Weird. I both love and hate viral marketing at the same time.

Moderator
Posted by Jabberwocked
@Serker: Whats in the box has absolutely nothing to do with half life.. it was created as a student project, investigating what they could do with 150 euro's budget and a video-camera and 3D tools.
Posted by BR4DL3I9H

You know when the viral marketing is done right when people actually take note of it, and when people try to phone the company and look for their location on google maps, well that is when it's done very right!

Posted by Death_Burnout
I can at least tell ya right now, that picture of the tree is one of my vista computers sample pictures...
Posted by Meltbrain

Haha, that's pretty cool. I'm pretty interested to see what it's all about.

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