Mayan End-Times Kit

    Neo-Pangea, 2012

    Alternate Reality Campaign

    For the 2012 holidays, Neo-Pangea gave the gift that keeps on giving – possibly even after the end of the world! December 21, 2012 brought with it the end of the Mayan calendar's 13th Bak'tun period and waves of doomsday hysteria, but thankfully, no apocalypse. Many citizens of planet Earth were hedging their bets as the so-called Mayan Apocalypse drew closer, so we decided to craft a tongue-in-cheek dramatic experience and doomsday survival kit for those lucky enough to be on our "nice list."

    The Neo-Pangea End-Times Assistance Program was conceived with the purpose of amusing and/or ensuring our favorite people lived to see 2013. An elegant invitation to join the program arrived in the mail several weeks before our forecast Judgment Day, prompting recipients to register their mobile phones by calling a dedicated hotline number. Callers were drawn into a narrative experience over the course of the "end-days" through automated two-way texting and voice messaging.

    Starting Wednesday of what was purported to be our last week on Earth, participants received one text message per day with prognostications of doom, mention of a forthcoming package, and advice to prepare. On the 21st, the end of the Mayan calendar, participants were asked to verify if they were alive via text. Participants who responded received automated phone calls tailored to their response.

    Sometime before Doomsday, gift recipients found a nondescript black box bearing no markings besides the Neo-Pangea logo delivered to their door. Inside the box was a helpful assortment of potentially life-saving survival accessories: functional gas masks, goggles, heirloom seeds, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), first aid kits, survival guides, emergency flashlights, commemorative Mayan Apocalypse coins, and exclusive Neo-Pangea Society pins (for post-apocalyptic promotion). Oh, and Twinkies… It wouldn't be a proper end-of-the-world farce without Twinkies.

    As expected, most recipients reacted with delight, a few with horror; whatever their reaction, it's unlikely that our associates received anything more memorable for the holidays.