Find 815 Website

April 13, 2008

Find 815 Website

Originally launched via the Oceanic Airlines billboards, the creative team set up this site as though it were the personal site of Sam, a fictional character whose fiancee Cindy was one of the flight attendants on the downed Flight 815. Sam was also the person who broke through the transmission of the Oceanic Airlines commercial. After becoming members of the site by submitting their e-mail addresses, users were able to play different chapters of Sam’s video blog about what “really” happened to the plane. At the end of each chapter, users also had to use their observation skills to answer questions and play games in order to advance to the next chapter.

Though the site was once extensive and popular, now it only boasts one page containing a picture of Sam and a photocopy of a page in his journal. The entry reads, “Not sleeping again. Something’s still not right. The reporters have stopped calling. Everyone is moving on. Flight 815 is a closed book for them. They think they have all the answers they need. But I don’t… S.T.” Sam’s journal is in reference to a plot point in the show where a news organization reported that Flight 815 was actually found at the bottom of the ocean with no known survivors. Fans of course know this is false, because most of the plane wreckage is located on the island, and the main characters are the survivors! This is the surface reason for the Find 815 website: for Sam to expose the lies about the plane in the ocean and to figure out who planted it there and why.

The Find 815 site is similar to the Hanso Exposed site. Both rely on subversive advertising, and appeal to fans of the show as well as potential fans who believe that there is often a discrepancy between appearance and reality. Furthermore, both also gather e-mail addresses, which generally implies that the addresses will be sold to other companies for spamming purposes. The sites also both perpetuate the mystery of the show, which is what keeps fans hooked and coming back for more. And as with any television show, the better the Nielsen Ratings, the more advertisers will want to advertise during that show’s commercial breaks — and they’ll spend more money to do so because the spots will be in higher demand.