This California Crop Circle Is Your New Favorite Marketing Stunt

In case you haven’t broken out that Led Zeppelin CD box set recently, here is an especially groovy crop circle (pic via these dudes):


And here’s Jen Hsung Huang, CEO of software maker Nvidia, explaining how his company’s marketing team created its own crop circle in a clever ploy for attention—and a certain dorky reporter discovered the secret message within:

It’s basically an opening shot to win the company a little attention ahead of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, and we’d say it worked.

The Braille message hidden within the circle is the number 192, and the in-joke—which will sail about a mile over the heads of most readers—is that the differentiator for the company’s new “Tegra K1” processor chip for mobile devices is its 192 “core” processing engines.

Of course, this stunt’s target audience isn’t the general public; it’s the super techies attending CES.

While we appreciate the creativity of the team tasked with creating “something that…will have global reach” on “zero budget”, we have a little trouble believing this line:

“Huang said he first heard about the stunt when he saw coverage on CNN.”


Our questions: who owns the barley field in question? And does crop circling require a permit? This is California, after all.