Red Bull and Bandai Namco launched a joint Pac-Man campaign on Thursday that is fueled by nostalgia and caffeine. The partnership includes limited-edition cans, branded mazes and other collaborations designed for cross-promotion.
From now until May 1, 2019, consumers can buy specially-marked Pac-Man cans of Red Bull. Fans can then “pop to unlock” one of three Red Bull-themed mazes inside the Pac-Man mobile game. The codes are hidden under the pop tab of the cans, with three codes to collect in all.
Unlocking the Red Bull Pac-Man levels also teaches our yellow friend a new trick for the first time in 40 years. After eating Red Bull cans, Pac-Man can shoot lightning at the ghosts, allowing players to defeat them from a distance for the first time in franchise history. Cherries have been replaced with Red Bull letters on each branded level.
“After nearly 40 consecutive years of chasing ghosts, even Pac-Man sometimes needs a Red Bull,” said Toshihiko Naoe, director of mobile at Bandai Namco Entertainment America in a press release.
Red Bull created a dedicated micro-site that features a digital Pac-Man soundboard. For a limited time, visitors can mix and play with all the iconic sound effects from the game, from ghosts to sirens and the 8-bit melody fans will recognize instantly.
The Red Bull Air Force—a dedicated team of skydivers—created a YouTube video to commemorate the partnership called “Real-Life Pac-Man Goes Skydiving.” Professional skydiver Jon Devore, dressed as Pac-Man, plummets through the air and is pursued by “ghosts.” One by one he defeats them by pulling their shoots before pulling his own, landing safely to chomp another day.
Both Pac-Man and Red Bull made their debuts in the 1980s. Aside from that, the brands did not indicate a particular reason for this partnership—other than it was fun, of course.