This was a marketing campain for the final arc of the series.
When it was announced that K.A was not renewing her contract for Animorphs and was ending the series at book #54, webmaster Jeff Sampson from the Animorphs fan site Morphz was contacted for help in a marketing plan for the final arc of the series (#45-54) on the Official Animorphs Website. As the final arc began, many of the sections of the Official Website, like According to K.A, were altered so that responses to questions or information often favoured places like the Sharing. Eventually, as the books continued further in the final arc of the series, the Official website was 'hacked' and changed with new images by Ax to 'warn' fans that the Yeerks had taken over the Official Website.
What Was on the SiteEditThis led to the campaign of "Animorphs Xtreme" where an inside source named "The Informer" put up signs around the Official Website that led to his secret page of up to date info on the War against the Yeerks as the series ended. It is here that we learn the K.A has been compromised (which link back to the biased responses of her favouring the Sharing in the According to K.A section). We also learn that The Informer has actually been 'assigned' by Jake to help us continue the fight against the Yeerks.
The Informer's section provided fans with many entries written from the Informer with the latest headlines from the newest books, which were often told to us as from a local reporter's point of view, giving us a good view at the status of the War. There was also a seperate articles section which had clippings of print newspaper articles where unexplainable things to the general public from the war were often covered up with false stories. There were other things in the section as well, such as new voice messages from the Animorphs themselves and a new forum for the fans to ask their questions to The Informer.
Transcript From the SiteEdit
The true identity of The Informer was unknown for a long time, but once the series had come close to ending, Jeff Sampson officially revealed the truth on the Morphz messageboard on his involvement with this message:
June 29, 2001
Everyone saw the little credit at the bottom of AnimorphsXtreme today, so I thought I'd finally talk about it. I've been waiting for months.
Anyway, way back in I think September a woman from Scholastic named Susan wrote us at MZ and told us about the Animorphs game they made and wanted our feedback. She and I ended up having several e-mail conversations.
For about a month I hadn't heard from her, but then in November I got an e-mail from Susan asking if I could call her. Which I did, and she laid it all out -- they were putting together a new site called AnimorphsXtreme and she was wondering if I'd like to help out. Of course I said yes
She set up a phone meeting on November 30th -- incidentally the day the fate post went up -- and I talked with Susan, plus the head guy named Neil and a few other women. They explained what was going on, how they were doing this web site for the last books, asked me what I knew already, things like that. They offered me retribution for my work, and I said yes -- opting for the money rather than free books It wasn't a lot of money, though, so don't get too exited. This was, however, my first writing job, and I've had a couple more since.
So, after I signed a contract they sent over and we went to work. We discussed the page, and at the time they had this news letter that was supposed to go out to stores. It was pretty cool, and we based the site on it. They were always planning to have the Yeerks take over the site, but I suggested doing some weird K.A. columns first, and they liked what I wrote and agreed.
I wrote I think 8 questions and answers, and then they started sending me real Q & A. Yes, before you ask, I was annoyed how people would talk about how stupid the whole thing was, but I got over it .
Around that time they were talking about the voice messages from Jake and Rachel. Rachel M-W suggested that she and David go up there and record, and they thought it was a cool idea. Unfortunately, it turned out Rachel couldn't go, so David went with his cousin Erin for a day and they wrote the messages (based on little scripts I sent) and recorded them. I have a couple pictures from this, I'll post them soon.
Then came time for AniExtreme. They would send me the page proofs for the last four books a month before the book came out, along with the manuscript on computer, so I could keep everything up to date. The main guy, Neil, became the editor for the site really, so he was the only one I communicated with -- and I'm proud to say he was recently promoted . It went very smooth, they'd send a batch of Informer questions and I'd answer them and send along an article and some news snippets. They chose the newspaper names, incidently. I did pretty much all the writing for the site, they did all the design and updating. They actually asked me to send a picture of myself for the Informer part, and they edited it to make that mysterious red face on there
I turned in the last Q & A, snippets, and article last week, and it finally went up.
So... Any questions about anything?
Starting with Book #51, the usual "We can't tell you who we are, or where we live" summary on the back of every book was changed as the series came near its end. Here is the summary in the last four books:
"Here's the deal these days: they know exactly who we are. They know exactly where we live. We've got a few secrets left, and we're gonna use them. But just know that the end is coming. And we don't know how much longer we can do this. How much longer we can fight. What about you? Where will you be where it ends? Think about it. Think hard. Because the countdown has already begun...."
As part of the Marketing campaign there were also several radio commercials made by some of the Animorphs. It is unclear as to how many different ones there were, but here are some of them.
JAKE: Hel-...hello? Turn it a little this way... ::tone of airwaves change to a higher pitch:: Ok,the animorphs are on-air.
RACHEL: Ok. This is Rachel. I am an animorph. I used to be fearless, but now I feel this fight is going to the grave. We fight a bunch of parasetic aliens called Yeerks, and they are getting more aggressive. Don't doubt me. They're here. And we need your he-
ANNOUNCER : Get the latest Animorphs Book, The Resistance, by KAA Applegate at bookstores everwhere, and know the secret.
-Provided by Tyler from Ani-news
JAKE: Hi. My name is Jake. For three years we've been fighting the Yeerks. But now changes are coming. Big changes. Changes that could morph your world-
ANNOUNCER: Get the newest Animorphs book, #46 The Deception, wherever books are sold.
-Provided by AndaYeerk
Rachel: Go, Jake!
Jake: Okay. My name is Jake. I'm the leader of the Animorphs. We've been fighting the Yeerks for three years. But now we know we just aren't strong enough. So we need your help. We need...
ANNOUNCER: "The Animorphs need your help. Catch K.A. Applegate's latest book, The Deception, in stores near you."
-Provided by Heehawthedonkey