Continuing a rather ambitious storyline that kicked off late last year, Samsung, with the aid of Cheil Worldwide and Psyop, has unveiled the next installment of its soccer stars vs. aliens saga to promote the Galaxy S5. While not technically a World Cup tie-in, “The Training” (nearly 42 million views and counting–yeah, we know it’s been out for a bit) features two of the event’s biggest (and best) participants, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have also been making the rounds in spots for Nike and Adidas, respectively, that are officially attached to the event. In this campaign, though, real-life Ken doll Ronaldo and his archrival Messi, along with other notable footballers like Wayne Rooney, join forces and evolve from mere athletes to sci-fi superheroes in order to combat an alien invasion…with their S5s in tow, of course.
Psyop director Laurent Ledru, who shot this four-minute short in two months across cities including London, Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, Prague and Manchester, explains the process of working with the stars. “Because of the athlete’s varying schedules we had to shoot each player separately. It was very important that each performance felt authentic to that athlete yet interacted seamlessly with the others.” Ledru, who met the players in the varying aforementioned locales, where they would execute the acrobatic stunts and moves for the real shot, adds, “Each player was given instructions and guidance but we needed to capture them acting as naturally as possible in front of the green screen despite the CG elements that were to come later.”
Like the previous clips that have encompassed this campaign, the Samsung Galaxy branding is kept to a minimum, save for the occasional highlighting of a feature (heat sensor! fast auto focus!). It’s the stars, story and special effects that take center stage here, and now, with training said and done, we’ve only the big final showdown to look forward to. Consider us involved. Game on.
Credits after the jump.