Posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
A new possible viral website for the JJ Abrams produced top secret monster flick Cloverfield/1-18-08 has appeared online. I must first note, that no one is sure if this is actually a legitimate website created for the Cloverfield online game, or if it is what the people in online reality gaming call a “gamejack”. As you might remember, when the Cloverfield trailer was first released with Transformers, there were a bunch of websites which appeared to be part of the online viral campaign, but were later found to be “gamejacks” (Evan Haas anyone?).
The new website is for the Tagruato Corpotation, located at tagruato.jp. The company is a “collective of top scientists, engineers, and businessmen committed to leading our investors and the whole of mankind into the future.” When you enter the website, you must choose English as a language as all the other options are non functional.
“We regard ourselves as explorers, and believe there is much more our planet has to offer than has already been discovered. We view every challenge as an opportunity for innovation. With our groundbreaking deep-sea drilling technology, Tagruato has positioned itself to become a world leader in energy resources, medical research, advanced technology production, and consumable product.”
“Created by Tagruato C.E.O. Ganu Yoshida, Slusho! brand happy drink is a icy cool beverage that is rapidly becoming one of the company’s most profitable expenditures. Slusho! contains a “special ingredient” that customers can’t get enough of. Bearing the slogan, “You can’t drink just six!”, Slusho! has grown to the second most popular frozen drink in all Asian markets. Hip adult drinkers have begun concocting deliciously intoxicating alcoholic mix drinks starring Slusho! The beverage’s popularity has spawned overwhelming sales of brand apparel, a hit theme song, and coming soon: an animated television show starring the Slusho! Flavor Droids! The next step is to introduce Slusho! to the rest of the world. A search is on for top marketing professionals who will be tasked with duplicating the drink’s Asian popularity in the Western market. Our aspiration is to one day place Slusho! dispensers in every convenience store and mini mart. Slusho zoom!”
All 14 of the drilling stations are named after Japanese Emperors. Emporer Chuai (192 to 200BC) was the 14th emperor (tennÅ) of Japan and is considered by most historians to be a legendary figure. According to wikipedia, his wife was suddenly possessed by some unknown gods. The gods promised Emperor ChÅ«ai rich lands overseas. ChÅ«ai then looked to the sea, but he could see nothing and denounced his belief in the promises of the gods. The gods were enraged by this and declared that he would die and never receive the promised land. Instead they would go to his conceived but unborn son. The legend then states that ChÅ«ai died soon after and his widow, JingÅ«, conquered the promised land, which is conjectured to be part of modern day Korea.
There is a lot of talk on the page about using deep sea ingredients for research into curing cancer and other terminal illness. (Treatment applications for Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and herpes are also under consideration.) And on one page, they talk about how they hand out Slusho brand happy drink to sick elderly friends, because it “makes them feel young again”. I wonder if they are doing unethical research via something in the Slusho ingredients. On one page they also say that the company is “currently working on the Slusho! Sea Freeze, a frozen pop that will be available for purchase in your local market and will contain the company’s healthy special ingredient.”
Someone on the Unfiction Boards called the phone number listed in the domain whois contact info (+81-3-5403-6318), and here is what they got in Japanese (and then in English):
“Thank you for calling Tagruato, due to high call volumes we have transfered your call to the automated answering service. There are NO UPDATES at this time. Please leave us a message and we will return your call.”
The domain name was created on July 25th 2007, well after the release of the teaser trailer and slusho.jp viral site, so this very well could be a “gamejack”, however the concusses at this time is that it is real.
Thanks to the great people at the Unfiction Forums for a big chunk of the legwork and details that went into this update.