By Deane Barker on October 16, 2007

I got a packet in the mail the other day from a company called “Highlet.” They’re not a real company — it’s a contest of sorts.

An ad agency called Publicis Modem is running a campaign for some unnamed company posing as Highlet. If you figure out the actual company, you get a prize. They won’t say what it is. (And Publicis Modem keeps referring to this as a “buzz campaign,” which bothers me — if you have to say it’s a “buzz campaign,” do you really have buzz?)

Anyway, Highlet is a company that’s behind the times and proud of it. They sent me this brochure (JPG scan), accompanied by a 5.25” floppy, which I have no way of reading (which is, I think, the point).

Their Web site is highlet.com. I took a look through domain records, but didn’t turn anything up but a known fake address in France.

If you solve it, I guess let me know and I’ll submit your guess to the agency. If you win, I’ll send you whatever the prize is.



  1. I think you may have totally taken the bait on this one. :D

    It seems like a number of tech-related blogs all received similar packets, and have made similar posts about it.

    Check out this blog entry about it: http://www.here.org.uk/2007/10/highlet-5-floppy-disk-teaser-campaign-who-are-they.html

    and this guy’s in-depth research so far:

    “Publicis get good publicity for their viral campaigns. I can see why. I’m no closer to the truth but here’s ten connections I’ve found between the two (now three) connecting web pages…

    1. Highlet.com links to MySpace ‘The Eyelet’ band page
    2. ‘The Eyelet’ link to Highlet.com
    3. ‘The Eyelet’ record label is ‘Highlet Music’
    4. “The #1 Player in the Eyelet Industry”
    5. “Nothing’s changed since 1982?. 1982 was also the year ‘Eyelet Resurrection’ was released.
    6. The CEO is Robert K. Smith. All the band members have the same surname Smith.
    7. Highlet on TV. See the show in 9 days. Is this date significant?
    8. Join us page on Highlet has “Welcome to Thornhilly”. This is the same location as the bands upcoming shows. This place doesn’t appear to exist.
    9. The Highlet.com page has a French version. There’s lots of French comments on the band page.
    10. Martin Le Dall is the ‘IT Manager’ of Highlet. A search on Google for ‘Martin Le Dall’ returns this blog http://highlet-en.blogspot.com/ How far does this viral go?”

    How far, indeed? Now I’m hooked as well. :-/

  2. Looks like a similar formula used in the tv show “Lost”. They managed to get to the 3rd season just by keep viewers on endless leads. :D
    Love the show, this campaign isn’t doing it for me.

  3. Hello there.I read your Blog post where you were talking about highlet and the quiz of sorts. Well, if you are interested in knowing who the ‘face behind highlet is’ then visit my Blog posting at:


    However, if you want to carry on playing the game without knowing the answer then avoid my posting like the plague!!

    Nice Blog by the way, Jason. http://www.jasonslater.co.uk

  4. Dear colleagues,

    As you know, the Group will soon launch a new worldwide advertising campaign with a strong presence on the web (you already saw the e-mail from Ph. Grangeon about the buzz program), on airport billboards and in the press.

    The new tagline of this campaign is “Together. Free your energies”. It expands our Collaborative Business Experience approach and is, through its distinctive creative and visuals, very different to what is usually the norm in our sector. It is very flexible and its launch will be phased in different countries, but I invite you to discover it as of today.

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