Alexander Ludwig Plays Himself—a Viking—for this Video Game Ad

Don't ask to join his guild

Fresh out of Battery Agency in Los Angeles comes this spot for Rise of Kingdoms, a mobile-based MOBA from Lilith Games.

The work features actor Alexander Ludwig from the Vikings series, bringing added easter-egg levity to the moment a nosy neighbor peeks across his driveway and goes, "Hey, aren't you that Viking guy?"

"Nah," Ludwig replies, against all obvious evidence: He's rowing! He's chopping wood! He's … drinking from a horn!

Alexander Ludwig | Rise of Kingdoms

Vikings are always coming back, but maybe they're especially salient since last year's launch of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, which Ubisoft cross-promoted with a special set of Reebok kicks. Our characterizations of Viking life may lack the courtly romance of medieval fandom, but it's no less romantic in the hivemind (now, even women have a place in all that Berserkering).

Short of joining a reenactment group, gaming remains one of the best ways to play out that goofy sense of being born in the wrong place and time. But if the commitment of a console game like Valhalla is too intense, Rise of Kingdoms is a snackable way to get your pillage on while waiting for doctor's appointments or whatever you're doing.

Plus, it marks the first real-time strategy title from Lilith Games, one of the top five largest Chinese mobile gaming publishers. As they dominate more gaming titles, both China and mobile are expected to make a significant impact on esports in the years to come. (Plus, mobile gaming is 51 percent women, so expect the makeup of these games to change that culture significantly. Hopefully that means more of an advertising focus on women—who are just as competitive, just as rage-infused, and probably just as likely to be drawn to Viking roleplay as guys are.)

The work is directed by Rick Darge, who plays up the contrast of Ludwig as Viking—true Viking, despite his suburban trappings—and his neighbor, who, it turns out, is just as keen on earning a place in Valhalla as he is ... in the digital space, at least.

"We were really excited to team up with Lilith again, and got a great opportunity to work with a real Viking in Alexander Ludwig—who's technically Canadian, but can grow a beard on command," quips Battery creative director Joe Sgro. "Rick Darge did an amazing job and he just so happens to look like a Viking from New Jersey. Couldn't be happier with how this turned out."

CREDITS

Battery - AGENCY
Phil Khosid - CCO
Joe Sgro - Creative Director/Writer
Andy Lam - Creative Director/Art Director 
Mike Parseghian - Partner/Head of Brand Management
Danielle Tarris - Head of Production 
Stan Hill - Executive Producer
Jacky Norris - Production Assistant
Sean McNamara - Head of Strategy

Lilith Games
Marta Hu - Sr. Marketing Manager 
Sean Young - Marketing Manager 

Stink Studios
Rick Darge - Director
Mungo Maclagan - Executive Producer
Chris Grest - Prod. Finance Manager
Mark Walejko - Producer 

Stitch 
Hunter Conner - EP / Head of Production
Mila Davis - EP / Managing Director
Jason Lewis - Editor

Profile picture for user Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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