Altoids Unveils Curiously Strong Website

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Altoids "Entertainment Extravaganza"
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When it came to revamping the website of the company famous for its curiously strong mints, only a curiously strong redesign would do. Luckily, Altoids' longtime interactive agency WDDG came through with flying colors by creating the Altoids Entertainment Extravaganza—an online experience heavy with embedded Flash video and boasting a healthy dose of musical sing-and-dance, carnival oddities and assorted wonderful weirdness. "From the start, we wanted to do something musical in nature," says James Baker, executive creative director of WDDG. "Our early inspirations were Vaudeville, Miele, Gilbert & Sullivan, early sideshows and the circus. We were also inspired by the Altoids 'Traveling Curiosities' TV spots. From those inspirations, we developed the concept of a traveling sideshow to spread the Altoids message. We really felt that this concept could breed an infinite number of creative and curious possibilities."

Mr. Alistair W. Toid III and a pair of lovely ladies welcome audiences with an introductory monologue that sets the stage for the rest of the costumed cast to perform a variety of spirited stage acts. And if the performers look uncannily authentic—well, they are. "We've been really lucky to work with some super-talented people on this project," says Baker. "We've really strived for authenticity throughout: The Barker is played by Todd Robbins who is the actual barker at the Coney Island Sideshow. Almost all of our dancers have been on Broadway at some point in their careers. The contortionist is the most accomplished self-taught contortionist in the world. Our gymnast is currently on the US Olympic team. The sword swallower is in the Guinness Book of World Records. It's been quite an experience to meet and work with everyone, and we hope you enjoy the show!"

But the show doesn't stop when the curtains fall, as visitors can wander over to an arcade filled with mini-games, try their hand at twisting the limbs of the creepy Amazing Bend-O or send an over-the-top Singing Love Telegram (a feature first unveiled back in February for Valentine's Day) to serenade that special someone. And according to WDDG, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Says Baker, "What you see now at is only a portion of what will be there in December for the grand finale!"
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