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Gaming

CP+B, Xbox One Take Different Approach with ‘Lost’

Last October/November, CP+B helped launch Xbox One with a series of TV spots designed to show off how with the next-gen system “games and entertainment are no longer separated.” Well, following a series of Playstation 4 ads that positioned that system as the one “For the Players,” CP+B and Xbox One return serve with a new television spot reminding viewers that, oh yeah, “first and foremost, Xbox One is a gaming console.”

The new effort, entitled “Lost,” focuses on the realism of Xbox One’s graphics, imagining them as so realistic that a young man playing Ryse: Son of Rome actually believes he’s sustaining injuries. That, or the dude is just tripping balls, in which case he should probably play something a little less intense. The spot concludes with the somehow familiar sounding tagline, “If it was any more real, it would be real.”

As mentioned, “Lost” does feel like a direct response to the PS4 ads that position it as the system for gamers, which makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. The Redmond, WA giant may have overestimated the appeal of the whole “gaming and entertainment in one” selling point, and now it seems they can’t let Sony claim the “For the Players” crown without a fight. It will be interesting to see how the advertising battles for the two systems play out as both fight to win the next-gen console war. With the systems selling at a pretty close rate, it doesn’t look like things will let up any time soon. and perhaps that’s a good thing. Credits after the jump. Read more

Barton F. Graf 9000, Psyop Charm with ‘Clash of Clans’ Anthem Ad

Gerry Graf’s Barton F. Graf 9000 NY has worked with production company Psyop, fresh off their game-developing debut with the Susan Sarandon-narrated Nightmare: Malaria, to develop this charming spot for the Supercell-developed strategy game Clash of Clans.

The one-minute anthem ad places the viewer in the middle of the action, on the same level as the melee taking place. To bring the game to life in the spot, Psyop “embraced the bright, stylized and saturated look of the game,” explained Psyop Director Fletcher Moules. “We wanted to fully conceptualize what the world would look like if we were running alongside the horde of barbarians, what would it feel like to be covered in their saliva.”

The impressively animated ad really does a good job transporting the viewer into the world of Clash of the Clans, thankfully without any saliva. One noteworthy moment occurs when two giants chuckle as they are hit with cannonballs. It was one of Psyop’s favorite segments to animate, as well. “It added the heart and the warmth that was only achieved when we removed ourselves a little from the ruckus to enjoy it from their perspective,” said Moules.

It would appear that Supercell’s audience is enthusiastic about Clash of Clans as well. The video was released on December 23rd, and garnered 14 million views in its first week. Credits after the jump. Read more

BBH NY ECD Ari Weiss Takes Us Behind the Cube for PS4′s ‘Perfect Day’

I don’t own a PS4, but I catch myself periodically humming the cover of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day” in BBH NY’s video game spot with the same title. For a brief refresher: the 60-second spot shows two gamers as iterations of the characters they’re competing with, such as medieval gladiators and race car drivers. If you watch enough TV, you’re bound to watch it. And it sticks with you, mainly because of the song, but compared to typical ad humor and action, this spot just marches to the beat of a different drummer.

One of those drummers – Ari Weiss, executive creative director of BBH NY – recently sat down with ADC for their Behind the Cube series to talk about the creative decisions that helped shape “Perfect Day.” Weiss talks about how the song actually guided the visuals, how the gamers were established as characters, and how editing set the spot’s unique pacing.

And on a somewhat-related note: ADC just announced they are launching an iPad app to show off their annual work developed in conjunction with Brazilian shop the goodfellas, ADC member/Google Creative Lab motion designer Monica Eunji Kim and U.K.-based creative director, Pete Rossi. It is the first time in the company’s 92-year history that the annual book will not be in print. ADC is also giving away free limited-edition iPad cases to the first 500 people who download the app.

Susan Sarandon, Psyop Spread Malaria Awareness with ‘Nightmare: Malaria’ Game

This past Tuesday saw the release of the first game developed by production company Psyop, “Nightmare: Malaria.” Susan Sarandon lent her vocal talents to the game, developed in partnership with Against Malaria Foundation, for the iOS and Android operating systems. “Nightmare: Malaria” hopes to draw attention to the malaria epidemic that claims around one million lives a year, around 70% of them children under five; and that much of this can be prevented with insecticide treated mosquito nets. But don’t think this is another public service advertisement masquerading as a gaming experience.

“This is not another advergame,” said Brian Kehrer, Technical Director of “Nightmare: Malaria. “We focused our efforts on creating a visually rich and enjoyable, if disturbing, experience.” Kehrer, co-founder of Muse Games, was brought in to help Psyop develop their penchant for visual storytelling into their first ever video game. While at Muse, he helmed the award-winning Guns of Icarus Online.

In “Nightmare: Malaria” the player is dropped “into the bloodstream of a young girl infected by malaria. Players make their way through 18 levels of fever-dream visuals, avoiding killer mosquitoes and collecting hard-to-reach teddy bear tokens along the way.” While I can’t say anything about the gameplay, not having played the game yet, the trailer hints at striking, occasionally disturbing visual design — not surprising coming from the Emmy-winning Psyop.

The game was inspired by a Susan Sarandon-narrated PSA created through Psyop’s non-profit initiative, Establishment for the Greater Good, called “Nightmare.” In fact, “Nightmare: Malaria” borrows footage from the PSA for its trailer. If you’re interested in playing the game, you can download it for iOS or Android. And if you’d like to donate to help stop malaria, you can do so here. Stick around for “Nightmare” and credits after the jump.  Read more

Allen & Gerritsen, Neiman Bond Over RFID Pic-Tap-Toe

Five months ago, Boston-based agency Allen & Gerritsen acquired Philadelphia-based Neiman, expanding their staff to approximately 200. This gave both agencies the challenge of getting to know each other.

The folks 0ver at Allen & Gerritsen decided that simple names on emails amd faces in profile pics weren’t enough. What better way, they decided, than a friendly, cross-office game of Tic-Tac-Toe. But instead of simple Xs and Os, they decided to use nine “radio frequency identification (RFID) readers, a Wi-Fi enabled Arduino Yun, and Instagram” to put a new spin on the game. They dubbed their creation Pic Tap Toe. Here’s their explanation of the rules:

  • Each office takes turns by placing a special game piece on sections of a custom game board consisting of RFID readers and an Arduino.
  • Instead of Xs and Os, photos from employees’ Instagram streams appear on one of the 9 corresponding screens in each office.
  • Screens update in real time in both locations, becoming a digital connection point and a way to glimpse into our coworkers’ lives through the photos they’ve taken.

It’s a fun take on getting to know new co-workers, and an innovative use of technology. Beyond the immediate benefits to their newly expanded organization, Allen & Gerritsen see the game as a great example of the “huge opportunities in RFID and the ability to customize a message and communicate it wirelessly to an individual at point of sale.” Allen & Gerritsen sees RFID as a groundbreaking tool with limitless potential, and Pic Tap Toe will give their employees valuable experience with RFID while also letting employees from their different offices get to know each other. Check out the video above for a more detailed look at Pic Tap Toe and RFID and let us know what you think in the comments section.

 

W+K Amsterdam’s ‘Messimorphosis’ for ‘FIFA 14′ is Kind of Creepy

Last Thursday saw soccer star Lionel Messi become the world’s “first life-size, living avatar” dubbed Lifesize Messi, to promote EA Sports’ FIFA 14 for PS4 and Xbox One. W+K Amsterdam have just rolled out the follow-up TV campaign, “Messimorphosis.”

W+K chose to show a gamer morphing into Lifesize Messi as a metaphor for “how the game now feels more alive” than ever. The execution comes across something like an Aphex Twin music video. In other words, quite unsettling.

The spot opens with our gamer sitting on his couch, loading up his Xbox One. As he presses a button, he looks at his hand to see it changing before his eyes. Soon, his entire body is morphing into the Messi avatar, and it’s pretty damned creepy. There’s a shot of the kid’s unnerving smile, and a really freaky one of his face melting into Messi’s. This is pretty strange stuff. The close-up of his feet turning into cleats is just plain gross. We don’t see any gameplay (which looks pretty good, but not mind-blowing) until the final few seconds of the spot, with most of the 58 second ad devoted to the Lionel Messi metamorphosis. Clearly, W+K is banking on Messi’s star power and the lifesize avatar schtick — and presumably not factoring in that the morphing stunt will weird some people out. One thing you can say about “Messimorphosis” is that it’s certainly memorable.

If you’re easily disturbed or grossed out, avoid this one at all costs. If, on the other hand, you’re a big fan of FIFA, Lionel Messi, or are under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs, then this one’s for you. Credits after the jump. Read more

Check Out Twofifteenmccann’s Cinematic Campaign for Xbox One Exclusive ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’

Ryse: Son of Rome “Path of Vengeance” from H.K. McCANN on Vimeo.

Twofifteenmccann’s new campaign for Xbox One exclusive “Ryse: Son of Rome” is cinematic in approach and scope.

At the heart of the campaign is the 60 second TV spot “Path of Vengeance” (featured above) which sees the game’s protagonist, Marius, “fight his way from the wilds of the Roman frontier in Brittania, across the Coliseum floor and into the Imperial Palace itself.” In one of the spot’s more interesting touches, the action is accompanied by whispers from Roman citizens spreading his legend. Twofifteen wanted to represent how in ancient Rome “deeds of epic heroism were quickly spread by word of mouth, and the story changed based on who was doing the telling,” which they mimicked with the differing accounts of Marius in the spot. It’s a nice, immersive little detail that’s telling of the overall approach to the campaign.

In addition to the TV spot, Twofifteenmccann, in conjunction with production company Smuggler, created a web series featured on Machinima. Entitled “The Fall,” the series features four, five-minute mini-epics detailing Marius’ backstory, history and motives. The agency claims that each installment is a “mini epic film unto itself.” While that may be overstating a point, this is a very large-scale approach to market the game, and “The Fall” is a solid accomplishment in its own right. It also succeeds quite well at making the game look badass, with what appears to be a pretty compelling story. You can check out the first installment of “The Fall” after the break, along with campaign credits.  Read more

180 Amsterdam’s New Campaign Positions PS4 as ‘For The Players,’ Not the Player-Haters

Last month, “#4ThePlayers Since 1995″ had us feeling all kinds of nostalgia for Playstation memories from bygone eras. Now, 180 Amsterdam looks toward the future with their “For The Players” international PS4 campaign targeting the Christmas gift market.

The integrated campaign runs in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and the Middle East, comprising “teasers, events and an interactive social media experience ‘The Players Monument” (playstation.com/4theplayers) where people can declare themselves players, adding themselves to a digital interactive monument, and becoming part of the PS4 community.” Make no mistake, this is a huge campaign, one of the most anticipated of the year.

The sentiment behind the campaign is that the design of Sony’s next-gen system centers around the player. Unlike recent Xbox One spots, which emphasize the system’s capabilities as an entertainment system with multiple uses, Sony is very clearly positioning PS4 as a gaming system. While Microsoft attempts to scoop up the casual “attach this to your TV for a high-quality Netflix/Blu-ray player that you can play games with as well” market, Sony is going for the gamers.

The spot features a first person perspective through an immersive world where multiple gaming worlds have been set free. You’ll recognize some of “the most famous heroes and villains ever to play a part in PlayStation’s” gaming worlds throughout the ads scenarios. I won’t give away too much, as spotting these for yourself is part of the fun. It’s a great way to build anticipation from nostalgia, and look toward the future as the spot highlights upcoming PS4 titles as well. The spot was shot in Budapest by director Scott Lyon for production company Outsider. Al Moseley, President & Chief Creative Officer, 180 Amsterdam described the campaign as “drenched in gaming culture, incredible effects and with every detail and every pixel it delivers to the true gamer.” If all that’s not enough to get you excited for the PS4, this should be. Credits after the jump. Read more

Zambezi Rolls Out Part II of MJ Uncensored for NBA 2K

On October 1, Zambezi released the first installment of an uncensored interview with Michael Jordan to coincide with the release of NBA 2K14. We’re pleased to cover the release of the second part as MJ, known to be private over the years, opens up a bit about his career, life, and family. When MJ talks about on-court incidents, the viewer can see brief reenactments of his most famous moments using the game’s graphics. The game has been out for awhile, but now that the NBA season is hitting its stride, 2K is looking for another marketing jolt to go with the PS4 and Xbox One releases in the next 10 days.

The best part is when MJ muses on his favorite Jordan shoe of all time, comparing it to choosing a favorite child, but then he goes ahead and rattles off his top-three in the next breath. By the transitive property, MJ could probably rank his offspring, which actually fits perfectly with his competitive and results-based history. Nothing wrong with that, just interesting insights that come from this four-minute candid interview.

Credits after the (basketball-related segue) jump.

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New CP+B Spots for Xbox One Tackle Retirement, Relationship Issues


With the Xbox One’s November 22nd launch date looming ever nearer, CP+B’s marketing blitz for Microsoft’s next-gen system continues with two new spots. Coming on the heels of the “Invitation” spot released late last month, the two new short spots highlight the system’s diverse capabilities while otherwise taking different approaches.

The first spot, “Retirement Home,” features recently retired NFL linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. Urlacher asks Lewis if he’s having any trouble adjusting to retirement as both watch football and play Madden 25 at the same time. Lewis claims not to be having any adjustment issues, but his actions say otherwise. It’s a funny little spot that will appeal to the (sizable) segment of the Xbox crowd who have always wished they could play Madden while watching the NFL.

The second spot, “His and Hers” addresses the apparent sexism of the “Invitation” spot (in which the only female featured uses the system only to watch movies, not play games). It highlights the voice recognition system by showing a woman command the Xbox One using her voice after arriving home to find her boyfriend watching soccer. She tells the system “Xbox go to Dead Rising 3″ and begins to play. Then she starts similarly commanding her boyfriend in a similar matter, telling him to get her a beer. It’s a bit over the top, but a welcome reversal of the gender stereotypes displayed in CP+B’s “Invitation” spot.

Credits and “His & Hers” after the jump.  Read more

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