April 13, 2008
Oceanic Airlines Website
Upon a first glance it is easy to see that this site was left in disrepair after the pre-fourth season “Lost Experience” craze blew over. The announcements section has text overlaying in an obviously sloppy manner showing that the site has not seen an update since the original air date of the Season Four premiere. Aside from the text issue the site looks rather authentic until exploration.
The makers of this website built it with irony pertaining to the show in mind. One may attempt to book a flight, but there is no way to return. That is irony that is easily understood if they watched LOST. All of the flights have been canceled for quite some time and it seems as though the airlines will never reopen, but the site still exist like the remnants of an evolving trend tossed aside as newer fads enter the mix.
The website advertised on the Oceanic billboards, flyoceanicair.com, at one point automatically directed users to this site as well. However, now the flyoceanicair address redirects to the find815.com website that was scribbled across the billboards in graffiti.
April 13, 2008
The Hanso Foundation Website
The Hanso Foundation website is a Flash site that seems to do very little. There are no links within this page, just a letter from the fictitious Alvar Hanso. The Hanso Foundation seems authentic since there are no links which would cause one’s belief about the validity of the site to waver. Alvar Hanso’s letter thanks his daughter Rachel Blake for her efforts. A peculiarity between this site and another Hanso-related site, hansoexposed.com, is that Rachel Blake is the supposed creator of the Hanso Exposed site, which is fully against the vile creations and actions of the Hanso Foundation as well as her father Alvar Hanso. This is similar to the subversive advertising as seen on the Oceanic Billboards. Alvar Hanso ends with “Namaste,” which means “I bow to you” in Hindu.
While the Hanso Foundation commercials were regularly airing, this site was famous in the LOST community for being a repository of LOST secrets. The creative team regularly updated the site with easter eggs and messages from the fictional Hanso Foundation and its critics. Towards the end of the third season, however, the Hanso Foundation slipped into the background in favor of focusing more on the Oceanic Airlines advertising campaign.
April 13, 2008
Hanso Exposed Website
Appearing much like a game, the Hanso Exposed website lures visitors in with its futuristic Flash introductions. After giving away an email address and a password, the site allows the user to freely navigate the no longer working site. After logging in, the user is brought to the a page where they may enter in codes to uncover the supposed wrongs of the mysterious Hanso Corporation. There is a problem. There are no links to getting started and no help to provide users a means of recovering codes. The instructions ask the user to find glyphs which can be obtained for codes, but there is still no assistance from the website as to how to find any glyphs. The “questions” section to the right of the login section appears authentic as it provides a sort of FAQ and definitions area for those who may not be up to speed on the lingo or scenarios which unfolded during LOST. This is a great attempt to drag those ignorant of LOST into the loop.
Like the graffiti on the Oceanic Billboards, this site appeals to a younger more subversive audience. The purpose of the website appears to be to unmask the evils of the Hanso Foundation, which is part of a large conglomerate of corporations such as the Widmore Corp. and Paik Industries, and more rebellious, truth-seeking fans and potential fans can relate to bringing down large organizations who abuse their power. The irony of this is that LOST and this site are owned by ABC and Disney, one of the largest corporation blocks in America, and the website attempts to solicit e-mail addresses for profit. Moreover, this site is supported by even more corporations, as evident by links to the Sprite, Jeep, Monster.com, and Verizon websites.
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.