I had heard about this campaign but put off posting it here until I found out how it's working. Apparently, it's killing.
WSJ.com - Betting on the Web Works for AKQA by Christopher Lawton (subscription required)
Your phone rings. On the line is a woman called Joanna Dark with a message. The job is done, she says, check your email. In your email box is a picture of a corpse, identified as someone you know.
No, it isn't the plot of a horror movie. It is an elaborate ad, part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft's Xbox 360 game, "Perfect Dark Zero," about a secret agent. Designed by San Francisco ad firm AKQA, the campaign is intended to spark chatter among gamers who can sign up by visiting the Perfect Dark Zero Web site. Gamers interested need only provide a phone number -- for Ms. Dark to call them on -- and a list of friends who don't mind getting emails about their "slaying."
The campaign appears to have hit the mark. Thousands of people have played along with the marketing exercise in the two months since it started; the game itself, which hit stores a month ago, is one of Microsoft's three biggest selling Xbox 360 games out of more than 15 published.