Square Enix marketing VP hopes Life is Strange promo evokes ‘emotion and spirit’ rare in video game ads

Games publisher Square Enix is rolling out an ad campaign promoting the latest game in its critically-acclaimed Life is Strange series – and it is hoping to make viewers cry.

The three-minute trailer called 'An Open Letter' was created to elicit an emotional response in viewers around the concept of friendship, seeing members of the public discuss candidly what is so special about those closest to them.

Discussing the evocative campaign, Jon Brooke, vice president for brand marketing at Square Enix, said: "I wanted to capture the emotion and spirit of Life is Strange in a way that you don't usually see in video game advertising. As a game, it braves to be different, harnessing emotions rarely seen in video games and I wanted the advertising to match this.

“I am really pleased with how it turned out. It's designed to remind us that life is all about our relationships and a strong friendship can change everything. I hope everyone can relate to that.”

The campaign was developed by creative agency, Ralph, which sourced best friends and dug out their most compelling stories.

Ralph’s creative director Gregor Stevenson, added: “We took a risk with this strategy and we wouldn’t have achieved the emotion within the video had we not chosen some extraordinary people willing to open their hearts on camera.

“The raw intensity of their reactions as they read their best friends’ innermost thoughts is what we wanted to capture from the start. And that’s what we got. Our goal was to portray each friendship in an engaging and empathetic way, whilst reflecting the authenticity and uniqueness of the characters in the game.”

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John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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