Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Spotting Giant Metal Men

There is a lot of debate about this big guy. It is supposedly a very larege autonomous robot built by one Colin Mayhew. So is it real or robot? After watching the video in which this robot stops a car, my first thought was “this is defnitely the most wild robot I have ever seen.” That thought was quickly followed by “Wait. Is this for real?” The thing that threw me off was not so much any mistake in the video but rather the fact that it has a spinning wheel for a shoulder. It just seemed a little odd. But then, people are eccentric. There is nothing to show that most of the web sites connected with the original. Colin Mayhew’s home page is just a free geocities page with a few links. None of the site has been updated since 2004 which also makes me suspicious — why wouldn’t you post footage of this thing constantly? I unfortunately could not complete a whois query on the domain name1 which would have put a lot of the question to rest for me. But when I read on a board that Crispin was invovled, that set off an alarm. I’ve written extensively about Crispin in several entries here and they are notorious for just this kind of thing.

This article was one of the more enlightening ones that I found. Appraently there was a paper component that went along with this fake (I now believe) web site. Michael Walls (of 2 walls) points out the whois that I couldn’t complete myself:

Meanwhile, a “whois” search into the domain name of Mayhew’s research site reveals an address in London that, after more searching, matches the address of a film and video post-production company called Martyn Gould Productions, who specialize in commercial post-production. Ah-ha!

2 Walls Webzine has a nice follow-up to that article as well. Mini and BMW definitely appear responsible. Given their creation of the BMW series of movies, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. He even suspects that there could be a Transformers, the movie tie-in with the whole thing. There is a live action movie in the works so that wouldn’t be surprising either.

All in all, this is an example of the kind of thinking that advertising is going to have to engage if it wants to have any effect at all. In the attention economy you’re brand is either getting talked about or its not and nothing generates more chatter than these kinds of feats of interactive fiction.

1 Apparently there is a different method for looking up UK domains than US ones. I’m not net savvy enough to know. Anybody wants to tell me, by all means please leave it in the comments below.

« Previously: