Blizzard Entertainment promotes the lighter side of Hearthstone
Irvine, California-based Blizzard Entertainment, the video game company known for its wildly popular World of Warcraft games, has taken a lighter approach to promoting its strategy card game, Hearthstone, showing the lighter side of conflict resolution.
The Pitch agency was tapped to come up with a lighthearted-yet-fun way to promote the game, and they went with a cosplay theme for the campaign. Pitch turned to director Ulf Johansson at Smith and Jones, one of the world’s most awarded commercial directors for his work on memorable ads like the Skittles Tube Sock and PuppyMonkeyBaby.
Pitch and Johansson came up with the “Take This Inside” campaign, a series of spots where normal folks have a brief conflict and solve it by going cosplay with characters made out of household objects.
The first spot, “Guacamole,” features two co-workers at the office. One grabs the other’s chips and guacamole. They get into battle gear to “take this inside,” one as a shielded knight (complete with cardboard art shield and tin pan armor), the other as a magical realm archer with fuzzy arrows and badminton birdie epaulets.
According to people close to the campaign, the creatives had a great time coming up with the DIY costumes to appeal to cosplay fans, coming up with different objects like armor spikes made out of kitchen sponges.
The charming conflict resolutions on the “Take This Inside” campaign, promoting “hand to hand fun,” will continue with a second spot, “Whisper,” which shows patrons battling with cardboard axes and flying disc armor. The third, “Latte,” taking place in a coffee shop, will follow.
Each of three video spots position Hearthstone as a more whimsical side of the Warcraft series. The situations in the spots quickly escalate in a fun and irreverent way as the actors transform into some of Hearthstone’s most iconic minions. Rather than issuing a typical challenge to “take it outside” to settle the dispute via a hand-to-hand fistfight, they challenge one another to “take this inside” the world of Hearthstone before ultimately transitioning to show actual game play on a mobile device.
The spots will run on cable and online, mostly as pre-roll video placements on premium digital channels, including Hulu, ESPN, AMC, ABC, FX and YouTube.
The campaign will also run on dozens of cable channels starting Dec. 26, including AMC, Bravo, Comedy, ESPN, Fuse, Logo, MTV, Oxygen Sundance, TVLand, WGN and more.
Chief Creative Officer: Michael Kadin
Creative Director: Josh Paialii
Art Director: Jennifer Ho
Jr. Copywriter: Sarah Westerfield
Jr. Art Director: YeJoon Hwang
Senior Producer: Laura Keseric
Assistant Producer: Nick Philips
President: Rachel Spiegelman
Group Brand Director: Dave Foster
Management Supervisor: Matthew Clark
Account Executive: Nissa Gutierrez
Account Executive: Lisa Hung
Chief Strategy Officer: Sara Bamossy
Strategist: Elyssa Seidman
Production Company: Smith & Jones
Director: Ulf Johansson
Director of Photography: Andrejz Sekula
Executive Producer: Philippa Smith
Line Producer: Justine Madero
Editorial: Union Editorial
Editor: Jim Haygood
Producer: Michael Raimondi
Telecine: Company 3
Senior Colorist: Siggy Ferstl
Producer: Matt Moran
Sound Design: Lime
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Mixer: Mark Meyhaus