Walmart’s Gamer Buddies Move From Madden To ‘Modern Warfare 2’

Walmart’s humorous ads featuring a trash-talking gamer duo are in a new TV spot for Activision’s Modern Warfare 2.   The retailer had previously aired the pair pitching EA’s Madden football titles.

The premise for the new ads is the same, with the two seemingly well adjusted men reverting to childish tactics when it comes to online gaming.  The original ads had a little subtlety despite their ridiculous premise, one of grown men lying badly to mislead each other about whether they ve been practicing their online Madden skills.  The spin for Modern Warfare goes for more over-the-top dialogue and a slapstick punchline.

Watch it at Kotaku.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Oct. 19

Ad Age s weekly chart lists the top 10 viral videos from last week, with number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart.  The list is compiled by Visible Measures.

This week s chart reflects the battles being played out between Apple and Microsoft over computers, and Apple and Verizon over smart phones.  The viral video winner for now is Apple, with their Windows 7 bashing Mac ad pulling in nearly 1.7 million views to make number two on the list.  Verizon, which had its own Apple-bashing There’s a Map for That ads on the chart before, sees its TV spot for the Droid phone make number four on the chart with more than 960,000 views.  For Microsoft, a Windows 7 spot breaks into the top ten, and Project Natal remains a fixture on the chart.  This week it’s at number six with more than 400,000 views.

Number one for the week is a video of Volkswagen’s street art experiment with an environmental message, where the carmaker turned a subway staircase into a foot piano.  Vodafone’s Symphonia spot creating classical music out of mobile ring-tones breaks into the list at number 10.

Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Jay Z Battles Eminem For ‘DJ Hero’

Activision enlisted a couple of heavyweight rappers in the TV spot for DJ Hero.   The ad puts Jay Z and Eminem on stage to duke it out, highlighting the exclusive mash-up track from the artists that’s featured in the game.

The ad has a couple nifty visual touches.  The rappers perform with a backup band and a DJ spinning sounds on a DJ Hero station.  As the DJ moves the cross fader bar on the controller, instruments and musicians get dragged across the stage to visually represent how the sound is getting manipulated.  The stage also has two starkly different backdrops for Jay Z and Eminem, each reflecting the artist’s persona.

Aside from the exclusive mash-up of  Eminem’s “My Name Is (Slim Shady)” and Jay Z’s “Izzo HOVA,” the spot plugs the more than 93 original tracks in the game.

Watch it at YouTube {link no longer active}.

Turning A Thousand Ring Tones Into One Overture

Vodafone has an interesting TV spot being run in New Zealand called Vodaone Symphonia.   The mobile phone carrier enlisted musician Jol Mulholland to create an orchestra using the ring tones from 1,000 cell phones.  Mulholland built a sound wall with the phones and used 53 different ring tones to compose an electronic version of Tchaikovsky s 1812 Overture.

Vodafone has released behind-the-scenes videos to show that what people see in the ad wasn t just a gimmick.  The making-of video shows the very real and elaborate production, including all the cell phone charging, to pull off the minute of music seen in the ad.  Both the TV spot and the making of videos are getting nice traffic on YouTube, with more than 360,000 views for the ad and about 73,000 wowed enough to check out the first of two behind-the-scenes.

Watch the spot at YouTube.   Check out making-of videos part 1 and part 2. {links no longer active}

‘Assassin’s Creed Lineage Part 1’

If you haven’t done so already, make today the day you spend about 15 minutes to peek into the future of high-profile game franchise building, courtesy of Ubisoft.  Yesterday Ubisoft released the first part of a live action short-film trilogy promoting Assassin’s Creed II.   The short films, eventually totaling about 38 minutes in runtime, act as a prequel to the story that players will experience in the game.  They feature the same actors whose voice and likeness appear in the sequel.

The films are the work of the game publisher’s in-house creative staff and Hollywood production company Hybride Technologies.  Hybride was responsible for the special effects in Warner Brothers’ green-screen girded  300.   Ubisoft’s Yannis Mallat has called out the Assassin’s Creed Lineage shorts as having the same production value the publisher would want in a full length feature film.  Mallat has also said the effort is an experiment by Ubisoft in filmmaking, one that may lead to bigger involvement for the company in Hollywood projects based on its game properties.

Watch it at YouTube.

Coca-Cola Mii Party

Coca-Cola, which channeled World of Warcraft {link no longer active} and Grand Theft Auto {link no longer active} for ads in the past, seems to be drawing from the game well again.  The look for a recent ad promoting its Fanta brand features characters that look as if they walked out of a Nintendo Wii.  The computer animated spot has an art style noticeably similar to the Mii avatars users create for Wii.  The premise might as well be a poolside party where the Miis get crazy (maybe held at someone’s PlayStation Home).

The comedy premise involving mime dancing and techno music may not relate to everyone Stateside, but the art style makes the ad stand out.

Watch it at ADVERTOLOG.  If you have trouble streaming, download the QuickTime version of the ad at the same link.

Stop-Motion Eye Candy

AdFreak is featuring a stop-motion animation video project that’s a feast for the eyes.  The video is the brainchild of advertiser Isaac Bell, a designer and photographer at DDB London.  Bell seems to understand that after light and colors, movement is the next biggest stimulant for the retina.  As AdFreak suggests, there is enough going on to warrant watching it more than once to catch all the nifty moving parts filling the frame.

Watch it at AdFreak.

Sony VP Of Epic Footage

Sony’s zany spokesperson ads for PS3 featuring a marketing executive with an ever changing title is gaining a following.  The latest, and perhaps funniest ad yet, has won Kotaku over.

This time Sony’s fake spokesperson, Kevin Butler, is presented as the VP of Epic Footage.  When a new PS3 owner challenges Butler to show what Sony has to impress, he responds with, Two words, mon-tage.   The ad has a great punchline.

Watch it at Kotaku.

NBA Star Power, Multiplied

Adidas new campaign for basketball shoes makes the most of its NBA star power.  The Brotherhood ads aim to deliver the message that individual style and personal drive are as much a part of basketball as being a team player.  It s a great hook for a shoe company that s runner-up to Nike and Reebok when it comes to basketball.

To get the message across, the ads combine multiple takes of the same players -stars such as Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Chicago’s Derrick Rose – performing moves on the court.  The smooth presentation and clean background make it a visual treat.  It also helps Adidas squeeze a lot of highlights from their all-star lineup into one ad.  Whether it lays the groundwork for a multi-ball variation of the sport, maybe for an All-Star Weekend gimmick, is another story.

Watch it at YouTube {video link marked “private”}.

Leaky ‘Left 4 Dead 2’ Trailer

Kotaku has its hands on a leaked cinematic trailer for EA and Valve’s upcoming sequel, Left 4 Dead 2.   The Zombie Survival Guide trailer is primarily pre-rendered footage setting up the game’s premise and new characters, and dropping plenty of hints to game play and weapons.  Amidst the amazing action and oozing zombies, the highlight might be just how tightly developed the game’s characters and dialogue is going to be.

Watch it at Kotaku.