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Rare is it that you see a campaign and go: “That will win everything in site this time next year”. Well, this might just be one of those campaigns. In 2012, Chipotle and CAA cleaned up (rightfully) with their emotive and powerful ‘Back to the start’ film. A combination of stunning attention to detail, ingenious musical selection (who knew Willie Nelson could bring actual soul to a Coldplay song?) And a powerful brand message that resonated in all the right ways saw the film become a touchstone for ethical marketing and creativity.

Chipotle have followed this up with another film, this time a trailer for it’s mobile game ‘The Scarecrow’. The film and game are designed to highlight the different choices that fast food manufactures make and the impact that it has on our environment, society and the choices consumers make. Chipotle & CAA went with the whole ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’ concept here, but in my opinion, elevated beyond what Back to the start achieved. A darker edged Pixar feel permeates the film (from production company Moonbot Studios,) which is heightened by the (genius) use of Fiona Apple singing a wildly re-imagined ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka. While in the film, the song is a lush and optimistic ditty, the songs double meaning is bought to life brilliantly by Fiona Apple and adds to the heightened drama in the Chipotle film. It’s beautifully paired duo, and sets the dramatic tone that the game itself is trying to achieve. (From what we can tell, it looks like a fully immersive platform game – Mario with Scarecrow’s.)

I’ll have to download the game to get a sense of whether it’s any good or not, but, if the same level of detail has been included in the game as their has been in the film, then it could really be something special.

(Via @sandoz)

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With such a strong brand behind them, Amnesty International are always coming up with novel, creative ways to get their (traditionally0 hard-hitting message across.

But, sometimes those messages can be somewhat preaching to the converted. That’s why this idea from the Amnesty and Activision (creators of the Call Of Duty series) is smart, and in some ways, hopefully more effective in spreading their message.

Anybody who even has a passing interest in gaming will be aware that the Call of Duty series is somewhat of phenomenon. The previous ‘Black Ops’ addition to the series was the highest grossing entertainment product in the 2010. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 broke records itself, and the anticipation for the game was pretty self-evident to anybody who walked past a HMV store the weeks of release. However (as this film touches on), it’s really the ‘stickiness’ of the game that provides the biggest opportunity. Online, players are spending hours completing extra game maps and linking online with players around the world.

Here’s where the power of Amnesty’s message steps in. Supplanting their own ‘map’ into the online experience. Now it’s not just about saving the world from Nuclear disaster, or despotic rogue Russian heavies, it’s about helping victims of war crimes and torture escape their captors. Players buy the Amnesty map on the Playstation store and are instantly transported into the narrative. The hyper realism that CoD prides itself on, becomes the most valuable asset in bringing visually to life the suffering of victims and the visceral danger that these victims are constantly under.

I could imagine that there would be critics of this approach, potentially seeing that their message was being diluted with it’s inclusion in a ‘video game’. But as the gaming continues it’s march from geek pursuit to mainstream entertainment platform, the power of these games to create narratives that smart brands can disrupt and twist, is all too real. Amnesty have taken this to the next level. I for one, am excited to see this in action.

(Via Edward Boches)

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With gaming such a visual hyper immersive treat these days, Pica-Pic provides a cool opportunity to step back in time and sample the simpler (but still highly addictive) games of long ago. The site has a great range, and crucially, playing them ‘in-situ’ makes the whole experience even better. A great little distraction.

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