The U.S. Open has begun, but you don’t have to be a tennis pro to get in on the action. Gatorade has served up some 8-bit video game fun with the launch of Serena Match Point—Snapchat’s first multi-level video game ad that was made for Serena Williams.
The 8-bit, 22-level game is playable on Snapchat, ESPN Discover and its own dedicated website. The game celebrates Williams’ career and all the wins that led her to the 2016 US Open and her 22 Grand Slam singles titles.
Serena Match Point features an 8-bit soundtrack to match the graphics and the only controls players need to learn are tap or click. Players take control of Serena as she goes head-to-head against a variety of opponents. To win each round, players need to click or tap on the left or right of the screen, depending on which direction they want to send the ball. After failing to return a serve or volley back over the net three times, the game starts from the beginning.
“Level 23 will unlock on September 10, the day of the Women’s Finals, should Serena capture the career milestone,” said Gatorade in a statement. Should Williams win, it will be a record seventh singles title at the US Open.
Williams has no shortage of endorsement deals and brand partnerships, having just wrapped on a film shoot for Delta Airlines and hinting at a project with dance choreographer Will Adams. Recent social media posts by the tennis champion mention Nike Court and an exclusive Instagram campaign with Mission Athlete.
Tennis aside, Gatorade is setting a new standard for Snapchat ads, proving that an entire game can be embedded into the platform. The sports drink company launched a hugely successful Snapchat filter campaign for Super Bowl 50, in which users could virtually drench people with Gatorade.
According to Kenny Mitchell, head of consumer engagement at Gatorade, the Super Bowl moment on Snapchat wound up driving 160 million impressions. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the 115 million who tuned into the game itself.
“If you’re trying to connect with young competitive athletes, [Snapchat] is the platform to seriously be considering,” Mitchell told Digiday in February. “This was a great opportunity to partner with them to showcase an iconic moment and let consumers engage with it.”