One of the early adopters of interactive video in advertising was European correction fluid brand Tipp-Ex, whose dynamic "Hunter Shoots A Bear" was a fourth wall-demolishing meta-ad with as many possible endings as the viewer could imagine. It remains a standard-bearer of the genre, no pun intended.
This week, Tipp-Ex is introducing a worthy successor to the ad, one that rewrites history and allows users to get in on the action once again.
The new spot picks up right where the old one left off, reuniting the hunter with the bear he couldn’t bring himself to shoot; even though the un-Tipp-Ex’d YouTube headline said he was supposed to do so. Now the two are friends, celebrating the hunter’s birthday together with a quaint outdoor picnic for three (the third member is the unseen friend ostensibly holding the camera). When a Melancholia-style meteor appears to threaten not only the party, but civilization itself, the hunter gives the user the option of ending the party or not. Here is where the fun begins.
No matter which option you pick, the hunter still looks outside the frame of the video itself for a Tipp-Ex to correct the title. This time he blots out the year "2012" from the YouTube video headline and invites viewers to fill in the gap for whatever year they would like to see the party play out in. Anyone who got lost in a "hunter and bear" k-hole trying to exhaust the options of the original ad is going to have their work cut out for them once again, because the makers of the ad--production company Les Télécréateurs, Paris-based studio Les 84, and French interactive agency Buzzman--have thought of just about everything.
Any historically significant year is given its specific due, while several other decades and centuries are covered with one possible ending. Among the myriad options you can explore are 1989 (where you can help the bear knock down the Berlin wall), 1492 (where a stoic, uh, Native American serves the hunter a birthday burger), and even 0 (where the hunter helps name a certain savior). You can even go into the future, which is represented by a weird Matrix-like digital grid, and which requires a microphone you can blow into to do away with the birthday candles.
In creating this eminently replayable experience, the ink correction company has all but guaranteed that it will erase your next half hour of productivity from existence.