Branded Games with a dash of retro.

Some weeks, I struggle to find anything to write about and other weeks there seems to be a sudden overwhelming trend that screams out to me.  This week it’s yelling: games, games, brand, retro games, games . . .

3 in particular have captured my attention, and all very different, and all impressive –  “The Scarecrow” for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Carolyn Remix for Philips headphones and Build this Town for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The scarecrow”.  Above is the beautiful beautiful beautiful animation promo by the talented peeps of Moonbot studios, this film promotes an arcade-style adventure game for iPhone and iPad and iPod and the above animated short film.  It tells a story of a scarecrow’s quest for wholesome foods in a  processed world.  Chipotle has shied away from running ads on TV, believing its target audience — Millennials — “are skeptical of brands that perpetuate themselves.”The film’s soundtrack is a haunting perform and of “Pure Imagination,” hauntingly covered by Fiona Apple. Buy it here. 

Phillip’s Remix Carolyn

The second game is a super retro (16-bit style) offering from Phillips as part of it’s ongoing “You Need to Hear This” positioning – this campaign for their headphones. It features Swiss Lips and their new track Carolyn as an interactive music video that’s also a video game. Playing the game remixes the song,   The game sees the band’s lead singer Sam battle it out in a drag race with the evil Flame Gang to impress love interest Carolyn. Players use keyboard controls to direct Sam’s car through several different scenes, with outcomes — from Carolyn turning into a Zombie bride to leaving Sam brokenhearted for the Flame Gang leader — dictated by the routes chosen. Retro awesomeness.

Run this Town.

The third game I came across isn’t as fresh, but I hadn’t seen it – I came across it as a contender in the judging of the Branded Entertainment festival and it’s a local piece (commissioned by the Australian Bureau of statistics) has been created to bring context and meaning to the stats collected.  Reminiscent of a geeky version of SIMS, it’s a surprisingly engaging offering and does make what is incomprehensible data almost relatable.   Created by Leo Burnett and Millipede.

I’m not sure how much and how long people actually play and engage in these branded games- I would imagine the majority have a pretty short legacy,  but it’s refreshing to see some variety in branded entertainment.