The government once again has its sights set on Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum, the third installment in the hit Matt Damon-starring series. This time, though, not only does the unassailable hero have pesky officials and disgruntled ex-colleagues hunting him down, but we the web audience as well.
Universal has enlisted the almighty Google to provide a suite of tools to help catch our man in a complex advergame that’s unfolding over the next several weeks. "The Ultimate Search for Bourne with Google” turns web surfers into Treadstone agents with this interactive competition, which includes the use of several Google products including search, maps, images, translation and YouTube. Each week, contestants receive new challenges at the Google Bourne site.
The homepage serves as hi-tech command center of sorts that includes an interactive “surveillance camera” that relies on Google Maps, an image decryption section and video of actor David Strathairn (in character as agent Noah Vosen) giving you the rundown of your mission. The first mission, for example, is to find Luc Godot, a French surveillance expert who might have info on Bourne’s whereabouts since the latter spent much time in Paris. Players can click the link to a site Dater Notes, a dating site which is actually a front for a Treadstone/CIA portal, find Godot’s pic amongst the profiles then copy and paste in the message transmitter on the “Search for Bourne” landing page.
While anyone with a Google/Gmail account can play, those who care to register can ultimately win prizes anywhere from a 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 and thousands in cash on down to DVDs and iPhones.
Labyrinthine in scope, the “Search for Bourne,” which launched in seven countries this week, is actually a partnership en gratis between Universal and Google, as the latter gets to use this film tie-in as an outlet to promote some of its more under-the-radar product offerings including Google Translation.