This is one of those stories that drive journalists nuts because the headline gives it all away: “Mystery crop circle was PR stunt,” according to the Associated Press
. Luckily there’s a twist involving some angry crop circle enthusiasts.
The only details missing are the who (computer graphics card and chip maker Nvidia) and the why.
That’s a bit more complicated.
As part of the fake crop circle, the company created what looked like a computer chip and the number 192 in Braille—a nod to the 192 computing cores in Nvidia’s new tablet and smartphone chip.
Otherwise, it was just a weird way to mess up a perfectly good barley field in Chualar, Calif. And now the Independent Crop Circle Researchers Association is not happy.
Speaking to the Monterey Herald, an ICCRA spokesman said, “A lot of people wasted a lot of time and a lot of money and resources to go out there. It is costly for the researchers to follow up on all this nonsense."
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So, marketing fail? The company’s CEO doesn’t see it that way.
From the AP:
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said at a press conference in Las Vegas, ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show, that he had given his marketing department the mission to promote the chip on a shoestring budget. The crop circle received wide attention. Rumors of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia's involvement appeared Sunday before the press conference.
Remember where you heard this prediction: The first legit-seeming alien encounter in modern times will all turn out to be a big old brand-driven hoax. If I had to guess, it’ll be for a new Starbucks drink. Or skinny jeans. Or Kanye’s next record.