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POKÉMON: EXPECTATION VS. REALITY

POKÉMON: EXPECTATION VS. REALITY

The Pokémon Company

Social Media Videos

Sometimes things don’t pan out exactly how you’d like. When you daydream of summertime, you might think about sandy beach visits, touristy trips to see landmarks and parties with friends. It doesn’t always work out that way, though…

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Pokémon GO wanted to do something to celebrate summer in Europe. It’s the perfect time of year to encourage trainers to get out-and-about catching the Pokémon up for grabs, given the gorgeous sunny weather… right? The truth is, things rarely go the way they’re planned. Your beach visit will likely end in showers, you might not get that perfect Instagram pic you wanted, and you could just end up with socks as your present… again.

For the summer campaign, Maverick homed in on the expectation vs. reality meme. The meme is iconic across the web, from Twitter to Reddit, so it seemed like a fun way for Pokémon to incorporate popular meme culture into its campaigns and also for Maverick to produce something fun and relatable.

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BLEEDING EDGE

BLEEDING EDGE

Ninja Theory

Social Media Trailer

Ninja Theory came to us just weeks before E3, seeking out punchy social media trailers for its new ambitious fighter title: Bleeding Edge. With loads of high-energy gameplay to cut from, we couldn’t wait to get cracking.

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“The Maverick team were nimble, smart, dedicated partners who not only nailed the cut-downs, they did so with humour and uncompromising quality and attention to detail.”

Julie Lowe, Director of Marketing

Xbox

Ninja Theory already carries a number of poignant games under its belt, including Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, so when we were asked to create the social media trailers for its brand-new IP – Bleeding Edge – we knew it’d have to pack a punch.

Bleeding Edge is a 4 v. 4 melee game, bursting with bright and bodacious characters that all offer something unique to the player. To make waves on social media, the Bleeding Edge social trailers needed to be short – 15s and 30s retrospectively. Packing all the action of the full-length trailer into shorter segments was tricky, but nothing Maverick couldn’t handle.

After combing through the trailer, what we considered the “best bits” were chosen; sequences of animated gameplay that featured peppy punches and mettlesome moves that would be sure to get the public excited. These clips were expertly edited together, to seamlessly play alongside the rip-roaring soundtrack provided by Ninja Theory. 

With the title being announced at the highly-anticipated Microsoft E3 conference, the social media trailers had to align exactly to the strict deliverables provided by Xbox, with careful attention being paid to the ESRB guidelines, audio WAVs and splits and the Xbox mnemonics – which had to faultlessly fade into the rest of the trailer.

“With a very short timeline and very little context on the project, Maverick was able to turn around some great social edits of our main trailer – delivered on time and to a very specific spec.”

Dominic Matthews, Commercial Director

Ninja Theory

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POKÉMON GO COMMUNITY DAYS

POKÉMON GO COMMUNITY DAYS

The Pokémon Company

Concept, Execution, Social Media

You don’t need all the bells and whistles to make a splash! To drum up excitement for the summer Pokémon GO Community Days, we orchestrated some relatable, user-generated style content featuring some of Pokémon’s cutest characters.

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JUNE: DON’T SLACK OFF!

June kicked off Pokémon GO’s summer Community Days, with Slakoth signifying the start of a series of announcement videos from Maverick. The social-centric video imposes the notoriously sleepy Slakoth in a real-world situation, seemingly making the most of the free transport the woman’s foot provides…

Maverick was responsible for the production of the video in its entirety, from coming up with a creative concept to executing the scripts and editing the footage. The main goal was to produce something that could thrive on social media and create excitement amongst Pokémon GO fans – who all look forward to the app’s dedicated Community Days, thanks to the incentives of new Pokémon moves and evolutions, and other in-app bonuses.

JULY: DON’T SKIP OUT!

The Slakoth Community Day video received an overwhelmingly positive response on social media, which meant that we needed to pull something special out the bag for July’s Community Day announcement. It’s a good job we had 13 mischievous Mudkip on-hand!

Continuing the user-generated theme, we took to one of London’s prettiest parks to film wild Mudkip in their natural environment – including in the pond, which meant creating a splash effect using a trusty piece of fishing wire and perplex disc.

The idea was to create the announcement video in an environment that’s completely accessible to Pokémon GO fans around the world, meaning anyone can head down to their local park to seek out and catch Mudkip. Filmed as if it were on a mobile phone, the footage has an amateur-feel, as if any passer-by filmed the Mudkip antics.

AUGUST: WALTZ WITH RALTS

It’s third time lucky, as the ever-elusive Ralts takes the star role for the August Pokémon GO Community Day!

SEPTEMBER: BRANCH OUT WITH TURTWIG

September features the tiny, leafy Pokémon Turtwig! Coming to a park near you this autumn.

We take Turtwig’s back to their natural enviroment in September’s Community Day video by planting them in a leafy suburb of London. Similarily to the Mudkip Commmunity Day video, there’s strength in numbers! A handful of animated Turtwigs make an appearence in September’s video, taking a liking to our actor.

WATCH DOGS 2

WATCH DOGS 2

Ubisoft

Influencer Campaign

When Ubisoft came to us with the highly anticipated Watch Dogs 2, we knew that we had the chance to do something special, and building a full race course with the pro’s in a phenomenal location in south London with three awesome YouTubers proved to be just that.

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We wanted to create the true atmosphere of the game, not just replicate the content. The result – an anarchic, fast-paced experience where the promise of the title was implicitly demonstrated in the whir of rotor blades and cameramen desperately ducking for cover.  (Sorry Malcolm!)

Fun, irreverent and firmly unapologetic, we created films saturated with that evocative Watch Dogs tone and got to try our hands as pilots to boot.

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STELLARIS

STELLARIS

Paradox Interactive

Influencer & Social Campaign

What do you get when you throw 6 YouTubers into a hardcore grand strategy game that they’ve never played, with people they’ve never met, and they’re being sabotaged by a veteran player…? Alliances, Betrayals, Destroyed Fleets, and… Xenophobic Penguins?!

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Stellaris, is an epic space exploration game full of diplomacy and war – but Maverick were presented with a problem; the perception of being a niche game that looks difficult to learn for newcomers, sometimes even intimidating strategy gamers. Our aim: challenge that perception, show how fun/rewarding Stellaris actually is, and appeal to both a new audience and the lapsed players.

No problem right..?

Our creative strategy involved focussing on the base game, rather than the DLCs and expansions – creating a multi-cam series of episodes and influencer-specific assets. We researched and selected relevant influencers based on: their personal audiences, the types of games they play on their channels, and most importantly they had to be new to Stellaris (amongst other filters, but we can’t give away all of our secrets)!

In this way, the audience could follow alongside these noob players and learn the ropes with them – it’s reality TV meets space exploration let’s play – it was a big and ambitious campaign!

We enlisted Stellaris expert Matt Hoving (A_Spec) to bring credibility to the series with the game’s core community, knowledge for the new players, and fun in-jokes even for the lapsed players. Be honest, who actually spotted the Blorg?

With our approach we were able to separate slower gameplay with different entertaining storylines, with simple creative episode structures using specific goals, giving every type of audience something to relate to and goals to reach towards.

This campaign showed off the features of the game in a fun and lighthearted context, making the game easier to understand and wholly digestible.

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POKÉMON TRADING CARD GAME

POKÉMON TRADING CARD GAME

The Pokémon Company

Concept & Execution

Check out a small dive into some of our work with the Pokémon trading card game over the years!

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We’ve had the honour of working with our long term client Pokémon for several years now helping them with their advertising for the trading card game. Check out below some of our highlights (so far)!

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DEVIL MAY CRY 5

DEVIL MAY CRY 5

Capcom

Global Advertising Campaign

Hacking monsters, slashing demons and wisecracking our way through wave after wave of diabolical enemies are some of our favourite things…

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Hacking monsters, slashing demons and wisecracking our way through wave after wave of diabolical enemies are some of our favourite things, so we were delighted when Capcom invited us to have a party in hell once again for the triumphant return of Devil May Cry.

Partnering closely with Capcom, we arrived at a tone of voice that would stand out to new audiences, whilst invigorating core DMC fans and Japanese Centric gamers.

Our campaign tagline ‘Back To Raise Hell’ managed to speak to all: raising anticipation & excitement of the fun that’s to be had in the demon world while remaining in-tune with the brand, legacy and heritage of DMC.

 To accompany this, we designed a visual aesthetic which would similarly appeal across all audiences – taking influence from the origins of the franchise to generate the interruptive neon titling aesthetic, while also updating key design cues such as the iconic DMC stylish ranks to create an authentic and interruptive reminder of the style and attitude of the game.

We created a broad campaign of executions for the launch, including trailers for Paid Media, Social, Rich Media Banners, Interactive Online Banners, Social Assets for Facebook and Instagram, Out Of Home Digital Assets and Cinema Advertising.

Another key aspect of our role was supporting the UK media team at Capcom – and we worked with Futurenet, Gamespot, LADbible, Amazon and XBOX to create and approve a massive slate of bespoke assets, and to maximise the visibility of the digital content campaign, which was a great success.

In terms of reactivity, our teams were also called upon to update many of the assets at the 11th hour, in order to take into account the incredible reviews that the game was generating – and this was a demanding, but very welcome addition that strengthened the campaign.

We were thrilled to see the game shoot to the No.1 spot in the UK Charts, and incredibly proud to have played a part in the return of another genuine gaming icon to its rightful place amongst gaming audiences.

Get in touch if you’d like to hear how we can help maximise the success and presence of your Digital Campaign – we’d love to tell you more!

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RED BULL ESPORTS ACTIVATIONS

RED BULL ESPORTS ACTIVATIONS

Red Bull

Global Advertising Campaign

Maverick partnered with Red Bull to promote the brand (and sell cans) within the world of video gaming and esports across a variety of projects, setting an example for brands looking to engage within the space.

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Case Study: Mobile Esports Open

The Mobile Esports Open by ESL (MEO), a Red Bull mobile games tournament designed to engage both competitive and casual, mobile gamers with online and offline events culminating in the crowning a world champion. Maverick’s consulted around the communication strategy to create consumer awareness of MEO, link with the Red Bull brand and drive can purchases. Our “Open to All, Won by One” campaign proposition was brought to life with an Announce Trailer execution to promote the competition internationally to a broad and inclusive audience. As a piece of activity, the mobile tournament gave Red Bull a platform to partner with other gaming brands (Clash Royale, Arena of Valour and ESL) and extend awareness amongst consumers mobile while at the same time aligning with brand perception within esports generally.

Case Study: Level Up

With many different pieces of brand activity, sponsorship and initiatives, Maverick created a communication campaign for Red Bull to bring together and celebrate the range of gamers, athletes and communities the brand is involved with across the globe within gaming and esports. Under the banner of “Level Up”, Maverick produced a multi-execution video content campaign to present the brand’s participation in gaming and positioning Red Bull as an energy drink brand in an authentic way.

Case Study: Part of the Game

Part of the Game is a docu-series created by Red Bull, exploring the world of esports. Our brief was to leverage the authenticity of the documentary series and Red Bull’s association with it, bringing it to the attention of gamers, non-gamers and esports fans. Following our strategic consultancy, we developed an authentic, engaging and interactive social campaign with video executions to encourage gamers to interact and engage with the content

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RAINBOW SIX SIEGE

RAINBOW SIX SIEGE

Ubisoft

Strategy, Concept, Execution
Social Campaign that takes three YouTube Stars – Ali-A, Vikkstar123, and AshleyMariee on the ultimate challenge with SAS hero Chris Ryan for Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege.
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There’s an increasing buzz around Influencer Campaigns we’ve experienced over the past 9 months, both within the games industry and beyond.  It seems there’s now an imperative for brands to have a strategy for this new area – not least because it’s delivered some great results.

So what are Influencer Campaigns and why are they important? Well, in essence, Influencer Campaigns are the practise of partnering with Influencer Talent to leverage their popularity and network or audiences through the creation of content, activity, event or experience etc. that communicates the brand or product message of the advertiser. It’s significant because Influencer Campaigns offer a new opportunity to reach a highly specialist audience – often including a substantial proportion of those all-important and evasive “millennials” – who advertiser fine increasingly hard to reach on TV and traditional advertising.

Maverick have recently completed Influencer Campaigns for two of Ubisoft’s recent game releases: Tom Clancy’s The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege; two separate but similar projects where we thought to share some best practise in what is a fast moving and evolving area of the media space. So here goes:

THE TALENT

The Influencer Talent is the foundation around which the Influence Campaign Content is built. Quite simply, the Talent brings with them the audience and a credible voice to reach them – making the Talent choice and designing their form of engagement is perhaps the most important factor in the Influencer Campaign. In the case of video gaming campaigns, there are scores of highly successful and established YouTubers to choose from – each with their own unique online persona, each with a reputation for playing certain games, and with the likes of Ali-AVikkstar123Slogoman and MasterOV commanding millions of subscribers.  This represents a huge opportunity with the potential access a channel that can deliver 500K views in a matter of hours.

But it’s not quite as simple as merely identifying the Talent – YouTubers are very aware of their Superstar Status and the value of their audience.  Influencer Talent can be sceptical about advertising and brands and the potential connotations to their fans (noting their principal income comes from YouTube/Google based on the audience they deliver, not the advertiser direct). So the offer to the Talent has to be the right one, and one designed to augment their profile – perhaps an offer that helps them make interesting and original content that helps them grow their audience too.

So the creative concept behind the campaign would then be the second most important element of the Influencer Campaign, and it’s the role of the creative agency to achieve this – gaining the interest and engagement of the Talent with a great idea, and one that aligns the personal brand of the talent with the advertisers brand message (about the game).  And thirdly this idea has to result in the creation of sharable content that is exciting and unique and can be embraced and shared by the audience. How do we do this – well, (forgive the trumpet blow) that’s the bit where twenty years of experience of everything from “old skool” virals to creating award winning games trailers comes in:

 

THE CONTENT

There’s one set of challenges if the brief is to communicate about a product like Volvic, and another for a video game release – while in many ways, a game brief is a creative gift (given that the very nature of a game concept is to be amusing, entertaining, and involving some element of interactivity), the gaming audience is a tough one to please with a nose for being sold to. Thus, it’s essential that the Content delivers a worthwhile viewing experience, one that skilfully integrates the specific game product messages in a way that is authentic to the game (it’s not acceptable just to video Influencers on a PR jolly day out, or to create an extended “let’s play”). This Content sits in a new unique hybrid space between traditional TV content and advertising, and has to be on a par with the best of both worlds – delivering information and excitement with style, quality of execution, spectacle and production value that will get it noticed. Get the Content right and you have something the Talent is proud to share, often going beyond the scope of an agreement to get behind the campaign and resulting in increasing exposure in the form of additional TweetsInstagram posts and other video postings – all inspired and aligned to the theme of the Content.

 

THE CAMPAIGN RESULTS

So while the content is the output, the results of the campaign are determined by its successful deployment and roll out. It’s not simply about the views on YouTube (that said, these two example campaigns for Ubisoft each clocked over a Million views within 36 hours – delivering a  huge brand exposure to the exact target demographic.) An advertiser often has a remit to execute activity across multiple territories to achieve alignment of messaging as well as to help create cost savings and it’s best practise for an Influencer Campaign to be created so it can be reinterpreted and repeated for other territories. In the case of Rainbow Six: Siege, the idea of training Influencers for an SAS style assault on a 747 was reworked to provide the same experience for games journalists who could enjoy a simliar experience to the Influencers.  Moreover, the high concept of assaulting a 747 was sufficiently inspiring for UK TV Show The Gadget Show to create an entire piece around Rainbow Six: Siege – adding millions to the audience.  Similarly the concept of working with real Preppers allowed lad culture website UniLad the opportunity to create their own video content around learning the skills to survive in a The Division style environment.

The central concept is reinterpreted by UniLad who create their companion content based on the themes of the Influencer Campaign

“Another great project. I’m really happy with this one, and the project was very smooth and fun to work on.”

Ben Talbot, Senior Digital Manager

Ubisoft

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TEKKEN 7

TEKKEN 7

Bandai Namco

Social Media Strategy & Launch Trailer

Tekken is one of the most iconic fighting game series, so when Maverick were briefed to work on the campaign for Tekken 7’s much anticipated release, we were just fighting to get started!

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The challenge face was to take Tekken and open it up to a new wider and broader gaming audience making it more accessible to those who hadn’t played the game previously, but also whilst maintaining the appeal and respect of the hardcore Tekken fans.

Maverick’s creative came up with the idea to position the fighting game as a casual and social game which can be shared amongst friends. The execution consisted of a story trailer summarising the complex 20 years backstory of Tekken to a western audience, and a launch trailer which evolved around a #TEKKENPARTY being enjoyed both at the party venue and live across different social media channels.  The disruptive and unique live action trailer stimulated interest prior to launch with a 30 second teaser creating hype around #TEKKENPARTY, and including cameos from influencers such as NormanGenius and ComedyShortsGamer. Oh and of course… it’s packed full of Tekken Easter Eggs!

Buzz was created before and on launch day across major social media channels which resulted in helping take Tekken 7 to reach No.1.

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