Ubisoft has released a series of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey videos in Europe called “My Life As an NPC.” The animated ads feature NPCs (non-player characters, as in the reactive AI that live in the game) who tell viewers how they are impacted by the presence of gamers running around in their world.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey continues Ubisoft’s hit video game franchise with a romp through Ancient Greece. The game is a sandbox role-playing game (RPG) meaning that you can wander around the massive environment at will. Those environments are filled with computer-generated characters that offer quests, items or just mull about.
Prior to the game’s launch, a series of vertical video ads aired in Europe called “My Life As An NPC.” Portrayed as personal Instagram Stories or Snapchat videos, these spots take viewers into the oft-ignored perspective of these non-player characters that often fall victim to a player’s antics.
One such ad called “Leap of Faith” depicts an assassin perched atop a building, shot from the perspective of an NPC on the ground. As townspeople beg the assassin not to jump, one woman dares him to. The man leaps gracefully from the roof, then falls into a surreal world with copies of himself. Finally, he lands, unhurt, in a pile of hay. Seeing this, a woman comments on the convenient location of the hay pile.
This is a joke among Assassin’s Creed fans, who unlock game achievements by taking a Leap of Faith themselves. You can always tell a designated location by the conveniently placed pile of hay.
The ad spots are brief but clever, and were created for Ubisoft by DDB Paris, who also created the foul-mouthed (NSFW), full UK commercial spot for the game.
Another spot tells the story of a shepherd who finds his beloved flock, including a goat named Bella, slaughtered by someone. The shepherd blames their fate on “the cruel world of fashion,” but it is actually the result of a quest in Odyssey called “Stink Eye.” Players are challenged with finding a jewel called the Eye of Cyclops. The problem is, it’s being carried by a random goat and in order to find it, you have to kill every goat you find and examine it. Poor Bella.
Other spots for French-speaking consumers were fashioned at Instagram Stories and showed up on the DDB Paris Instagram.
In America, Ubisoft also took a comedic approach with a social media takeover. #AskaSpartan allowed Twitter users to ask questions, real or serious, to an actor dressed as a Spartan warrior.
Ubisoft’s comedic approach to everyday life in the world of Assassin’s Creed is similar to tactics used for the previous title, Origins. A series of videos called “Tales from the Tomb” featured Egyptian hieroglyphs that shared gossip amongst themselves.