The official site for Steven Spielberg's "A.I." is par for the course, but the marketing wizards at DreamWorks and Warner Bros. certainly aren't slacking. Someone (or something?) has devised a complicated viral marketing campaign that takes hints from the "A.I." trailer and sprinkles them like breadcrumbs across various "A.I."-related Web sites. The trailer hints expand exponentially, with current estimates linking almost 40 separate sites to the project. The result is a global scavenger hunt that's attracting a lot of attention.
What's interesting is that DreamWorks and Warner Bros., co-producers of the film, haven't officially acknowledged the campaign, so there aren't any hard-and-fast rules to follow. Web surfers are left to their own devices, which allows an entire generation of geeks to feel like the Thomas Magnum of the digital age (minus the Ferrari and the Hawaiian estate).
You can get a jump on the hunt by visiting Coming Attractions, Ain't It Cool News, and the Cloudmakers forum at Yahoo Groups. Each of these sites contains clues and hunting tips. For general information, check out articles from Wired and ZDNet.