For the launch of Marvel's Avengers video game, which came out on Sept. 4, developers Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix worked with BBH New York to conceive a campaign that mirrors our brave new normals.
Specifically, all that online learning everybody's doing. But before we get to that, let's get the game's hero trailer out of the way. It's colorful, charismatic and action-packed, but not the funnest part of this work.
Onto the good stuff: "Superior Seminars" features short trailers inspired by the MasterClass advertising format, complete with inspiring music and a "celebrity" teacher explaining what they plan to teach—a sly way to convey the third-person aspect of the video game. Filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts of RSA Films directed the work.
Here, Ms. Marvel promises to teach you to "embiggen" your fist, feet … and heart. "Having a positive attitude is a great way to contribute—that, and having hammers for hands," she deadpans.
Iron Man drops the insider knowledge you need to beam. "First rule of beaming: Always look good doing it," he says. Fledgling super-influencers, we hope you're paying attention!
Lastly, while Bruce Banner is far more eloquent, nobody is better equipped to teach you exactly how to "smash pretty much everything" than his alter ego, The Hulk, who cuts right to the chase:
"We selected BBH NY because of their deep knowledge and love of gaming," says Square Enix's chief marketing officer, John Heinecke. "They reminded us of how the Avengers are the perfect superheroes for this moment, bringing to life the value of teamwork and proving that no threat is too large when we fight as one."
The production and creative team are still physically distanced because of Covid-19, so there's something to be said about them "uniting" creatively to create work that reflects a "distanced" reality, one where a lot of us are mostly at home, doing higher learning and work stuff online, when we have time.
And in its way, it alludes to how video games can offer relief from that—in this case, putting people right in the roles of the heroes, making all kinds of superhuman mischief and, in theory anyway, saving the world.
Each "Superior Seminars" video ends with "Embrace your powers," followed by the wider campaign tagline: "It's time to assemble."
"This was a true team effort. In such a difficult time, the whole team had to rally together every day to give this game an Avengers-worthy launch," says executive creative director Jonathan Mackler of BBH NY. "We couldn't be more thrilled to have partnered with ILM and Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who brought an unmatched level of love, energy and enthusiasm to this project. We are equally grateful to our clients at Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics for the opportunity."
The game debuted on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. Next-generation versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are slated for later in the year.
Rafael Rizuto Chief Creative Officer BBH NY
Jonathan Mackler Executive Creative Director BBH NY
Lucas Bongioani Group Creative Director BBH NY
Diego Fonseca Creative Director BBH NY
Scott Cooney Creative Director BBH NY
Hora Somani Associate Creative Director BBH NY
Bruno Francino Associate Creative Director BBH NY
Ben Cascella Senior Copywriter BBH NY
Lukas Weber Designer BBH NY
Brooke Kaylor Head of Production BBH NY
L Parker Barnum Managing Partner BBH NY
Ali Cornford Group Account Director BBH NY
Dylan Roley Account Supervisor BBH NY
Becky Tanner Account Manager BBH NY
Tom Callard Head of Planning BBH NY
Dylan Fauss Strategist BBH NY
Jordan Vogt-Roberts Director RSA Films
Buddy Brakha Executive Producer RSA Films
Jordan Vogt-Roberts Executive Producer RSA Films
Julien Lemaitre Producer RSA Films
Bryan Chojnowski Associate Producer RSA Films
Katherine Farrar Bluff Senior Producer Industrial Light & Magic
Karen Kelly Associate Producer Industrial Light & Magic
Jeff White VFX Producer Industrial Light & Magic
Scott Benza Animation Supervisor Industrial Light & Magic
Bruno Baron CG Supervisor Industrial Light & Magic
Lauren Fong Production Manager Industrial Light & Magic
Nick Johnson Associate Production Manager Industrial Light & Magic
Ian Mackenzie Editor Mackenzie Cutler
Cooper McLane Assistant Editor Mackenzie Cutler
Gina Pagano Executive Producer Mackenzie Cutler
Al Nelson Sound Design Skywalker Sound
Gwendolyn Whittle ADR Supervisor Skywalker Sound
Pete Horner Audio Engineer/Mix Skywalker Sound
Rob Difondi Audio Engineer/Record Sound Lounge
William McGuigan Sound Design Gypsy Sound
Nolan North Iron Man / Voiceover
Jeff Schine Captain America / Voiceover
Sandra Saad Kamala Khan / Voiceover
Sizzer Music Original Composition