August 21, 2007
The website of buynlarge.com seems like just another online marketing space dedicated to touting the wares of yet another global conglomerate. The site offers news about the latest and greatest coming out of their R&D labs, mission statements and core company values. A seemingly endless number of divisions including robotics, engineering, government, energy and even aerospace all are pumping out impressive contributions to improving our daily lives. There’s only one catch… none of it is real.
In fact, Buy n Large is just one of the latest installments in the relatively new field of viral marketing. The site is the fictitious home page of the central character’s creator in Disney’s upcoming animated feature WALL•E. Due to hit theaters in June of 2008, the film is purported to be the last of the “original ideas” brainstormed by PIXAR’s John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter & the late Joe Ranft. Given the incredible track record of animated features that the Disney/PIXAR partnership has produced, WALL•E looks to be the team’s latest computer generated masterpiece.
The amount of effort and attention to detail that can be seen in the Buy n Large website, a destination that is pure fiction from start to finish, should come as no surprise for fans both young and old. These artists relish the opportunity to hone their craft and weave entire universes in which their characters can romp and play. The site is filled with in-jokes, flies in the face of corporate America and gives WALL•E an instant, credible backstory. BnL press releases tell how the “company” managed to ship over 5 million video game consoles in its first week of launch and touts its system of 10,000 weather control satellites, all with a straight face. BnL even manages to poke gentle fun at Disney and PIXAR themselves by announcing “Pix-Vue Animation Studio’s next film would be based on a lovable duck that can walk through time.” Classic.
I’ve always admired the talented folks at PIXAR and the wonderful creations they’ve shared with us. Browsing through the seemingly endless pages at buynlarge.com, I’m reminded of why. This skilled group of artists, designers, animators and producers love every aspect of their job. From bringing 3D characters to life, right down to creating a phony website to promote their film, they see every aspect as part of a whole. As John Lasseter has said on many occasions, PIXAR’s primary purpose is to tell stories. Stories that the audience will relate to, recount and treasure for years to come. Spending some quality time surfing BnL’s website reveals WALL•E to be a fun adventure filled with wit and irony for kids of all ages. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go browse their corporate store for a new garden bot. Oh, right. Damn!