Someone has cut an eerie crop circle in Nebraska that looks an awful lot like a McDonald’s ad. At first glance, this “media placement” is downright silly, since only 0.58% of the U.S. population lives in Nebraska, you can’t see it without a plane, and surely participants walking in the maze pack a picnic.
Yet all this goofiness points out the new media strategy of seeding a viral campaign — using lever A to set off a cascade of people talking B. Someone at McDonald’s, we bet, was willing to invest a few thousand dollars in cutting up a cornfield in hopes that web sites would pass along the message. The cost of creating corn mazes has fallen in recent years as companies such as The Maize give farmers GPS-guided tools to design paths that resemble almost anything.
Or perhaps space aliens just get hungry.