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Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Hi-tech marketing goes ape
Tim Roth
Britain's Tim Roth stars in Planet Of The Apes
20th Century Fox has launched a satellite treasure hunt as an unusual marketing ploy for its upcoming movie Planet Of The Apes.

Fox is offering secret stores of movie props and the chance to be photographed for the film's official website.

Planet of the Apes
There was a series of Apes films in the 1970s
Known as Project APE (Alternative Primate Evolution), the campaign uses a new gaming trend called "geocaching".

This is a type of worldwide treasure hunt using the internet and other hi-tech equipment.

To participate in Project APE requires a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) unit - now widely available in the US for around $100 (73), though until recently restricted to military use.

The film's official website supplies co-ordinates for a treasure horde every Friday.

Players then use their GPS unit to locate the horde, which might be hidden in a park or woods near a major city anywhere in the world.

Experience

Each cache contains a prop from the film, a camera and a log book.

Whoever finds the cache can then take a picture of themselves that will be posted on the site with their comments about the experience.

Fox says it will hide caches in eight US cities and five international locations over the 13-week campaign.

Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter also has a starring role
The first Project APE cache was located in San Francisco, and contained an ornate metal ape spoon and a certificate of authenticity from Fox.

Planet Of The Apes, directed by Tim Burton, is still in production and is intended for US release at the end of July 2001.

It will star Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter and Kris Kristofferson.

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See also:

04 May 01 | Newsnight
Viral marketing transcript - 30/4/01
09 May 01 | Film
Can-can kickstarts Cannes
04 Oct 98 | Americas
'Apes' star dies
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