Wrestling Game TV Spot Ends Weirdly

The TV spot for THQ’s WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 highlights a single game feature, the ability to create custom characters.  It sets up a great premise for it.  A mother wakes up to find crazily costumed wrestlers in her kitchen.  She takes it up with her son, who created them for his wrestling game.  They have angry exchanges.  It ends with the mother cuddling in the arms of one of the wrestlers as her husband bangs on the house.  Nothing given away here, it’s a random attempt to punctuate the ad with a laugh.  AdFreak calls it weird.

Watch it at AdFreak.

‘DJ Hero’ Intro Is Pure Eye-Ear Candy

FreeStyle Games, developers of Activision’s upcoming DJ Hero, gave the creators of the game s intro movie at Framestore free reign.  Talking to Gamesindustry.biz, UK-based Framestore says the direction they got amounted to going for hyper-real and crazy and not being tethered to game play.

As you’d expect from an intro for a DJ game, what the fully CG movie lacks in set-up and any sense of narrative, it makes up for with an epic setting giant record needle terrorizes planet along with ear thumping sound and eye watering visuals.  If you find yourself pondering how this could be the DJ planet in the same solar system as Brutal Legend, you’re not alone.

Framsestore has told Gamesindustry.biz that they are so smitten by working with FreeStyle on DJ Hero that they re considering offering their visual effects tools and expertise for game development.

Watch the intro movie at Creativity-Online.

You can read the Framestore interview at Gamesindustry.biz.

Wii Fits Into A Working Mom’s Day

Nintendo’s TV spot for Wii Fit aims to show how the Wii can fit into the daily life and busy schedule of a working mom.  The ad follows a working mother to show the many settings and chores she faces from morning to night.  It communicates that cleanly using a moving set technique, where the camera looks as if it’s dollying to follow her as she moves from set to set.  Her hurried day is punctuated by two serene moments in the spot, both of which involve a Wii.  She sneaks in a Wii Fit workout in the morning, and at the blissful end to her day her daughter is busy playing away on Wii.

Watch it at Creativity-Online.

Codemasters Turns Up The Audio In ‘Operation Flashpoint’ TV spot

Codemasters decided to highlight the underappreciated role audio plays in action games in the TV spot for its upcoming shooter.  The spot for  Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising helps viewers immediately get where the ad’s messaging is headed.  The video starts with a black screen as the sound of bullets whizzing by can be heard.  Bullets give way to mortars and explosions, but the screen remains black save for a visual effect that reinforces the audio.  The ad doesn’t stop being footage-free until about midway through.

The hardcore set may draw conclusions, namely that Codemasters is avoiding going head-to-head on visual quality with prettier console shooters.  If that s the case, this approach is commendable in setting the game apart elsewhere.  Operation Flashpoint games have always been positioned as war simulation shooters, and here Codemasters highlights an often overlooked area that brings realism to the games.

Codemasters is airing the spots on TV and in cinemas in the UK.

Watch it at Brand Republic {link no longer effective}.

Pepsi’s Mature-Rated Marketing App

Channeling the risk-taking young men associate with drinking Mountain Dew, Pepsi created a risqué app to promote its Dew-branded Amp Energy drink on iPhone.  In a move seen with many independent iPhone developers, they created a very Apple-like advertising spot to promote it.

The app is Amp Up Before You Score, a dating facilitator that helps men identify types of women and offers tips on picking them up.  In what Pepsi may have seen as a PR boost, the app propelled into the spotlight when Apple slapped a mature rating on it.  It then turned political correctness nightmare when the app drew much scorn for its commodification of women, prompting Pepsi to issue an apology through Twitter.

Did it deserve it?   It may push buttons when it comes to stereotyping women, but it also pushes boundaries by working nifty iPhone features into a marketing app.

Watch it at Creativity-Online.

Alfa Romeo MiTo Channels Space Invaders

Alfa Romeo is taking the video game inspired car commercial to the next level.  AdFreak is featuring a TV spot for the Italian carmaker s compact car MiTo that channels Space Invaders.   The analogy has depth.  The presumably gas sipping compact car uses its headlights to destroy swarming hordes of oil drums and gas pumps.

The ad’s slogan get to the next level is another nod to games.

Watch it at AdFreak.

Fox Dallas Cowboys Skit Draws More Hollers Than Hoots

Fox aired a bizarre, unflattering parody of the Dallas Cowboys during Sunday NFL coverage that s drawn viewer scorn, reports Ad Age.  The cartoon skit was presented as sponsored content from Burger King.  It depicts three Cowboys including quarterback Tony Romo and head coach Wade Phillips mocking their poor performance and cracking fat jokes about Romo’s celebrity ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson.

In the Texas torch mob equivalent of a viewer survey outcome, the Dallas NBC affiliate polled viewers of the skit as 45 percent furious.

Watch it at Ad Age.

Live Action Mixes With Game Engine In ‘Bayonetta’ TV Spots

Sega is rolling out TV spots in Japan promoting its femme fatale hack-and-slash action game Bayonetta.   Joystiq is featuring both 15 and 30-second cuts showing how Sega blended live action with in-game scenes for the ads.

The 30-second spots feature a live model in the beginning before transitioning to her in-game model, and eventually game play clips.  The ad then returns to the live model in the finale, blending her in with hi-res CG.  The shorter spots forego game play cuts completely.

The commercials are in Japanese but deliver the English tagline, Nonstop climax action.   The 15 and 30-second cuts run concurrently.

Watch them at Joystiq.

Expletive-Laced TV Spot For Wireless Charger

The makers of wireless battery charger Powermat are running this TV spot featuring a couple of expletive dropping young men in awe over the device.  In the spot, two men of college age and dress toy around with a Powermat and drop expletives that are not only bleeped out, but reinforced visually with black bars covering their mouths.

Extra clean-cut looking actors and a backdrop of wholesome hobbies are nice touches to help offset the presumably vulgar language (it’s bleeped out, after all).

Watch it at BrandFreak.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Sept. 28

Abbey Klaassen’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.

Microsoft has to be happy about the continually impressive number of views garnered by its Project Natal video.  The video climbed to number two on this week s chart, drawing 35 percent more viewers than last week for a total 670,000 views for the week.  On the other hand, outside of the game division, Microsoft might be thinking when life gives you lemonade it could still come with lemons.  Right below Natal at number three is the atrocious Windows 7 Hosting Your Party video with more than 545,000 views for the week.

Given that this week s slate is made up of all repeat performers, Klaassen asks Visible Measures what the recipe is for such longevity.  The firm’s VP of marketing and analytics Matt Cutler believes that most of the videos are drawing repeat viewers, the only way they could sustain such high numbers.  He pinpoints where they succeed as nailing one or more of three key features that drive viral videos: whimsical feel good spots that provide an escape, content that raises questions such as “is it real?” and deep musical connection.

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