Interactive YouTube ads let you choose your own Resident Evil 2 adventure

Capcom has marked the remake of celebrated survival horror game Resident Evil 2 with an innovative interactive YouTube ad campaign that lets viewers attempt to survive the zombie outbreak.

Digital advertising agency Biborg has developed an interactive ad where viewers choose from branching narratives that showcase the horror in store in the video game.

In similar fashion to Netflix’s recently released Bandersnatch, an interactive episode of Black Mirror, viewers have the chance to follow the journey of one of two protagonists, Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy. From there, like in the game, they face unique challenges and dangers.

‘The Choice is Yours’ makes use of the agency’s Interactive Trueview ad format and links the videos with end cards that represent the interactivity afforded in the game to create a 1.5 minute ad.

Stefano Barolo, UK and EMEA brand manager at Capcom, said: “We’re delighted with the results: 33% of the people who’ve watched the ad chose to continue the experience: quite high for a paid media campaign, and 85% chose to continue to the end.

“It’s been a great experience working with Biborg on this campaign and these Interactive Trueview ads, in particular, were perfect for depicting the story choices you’ll have to make in our game.”

Kais Ali Benali UK managing director of Biborg, added: “We worked with Capcom to capture the gameplay, as we wanted to create an immersive and active experience with our YouTube Trueview placement. Twisting the conventional use of YouTube end cards, viewers were invited to follow either Leon or Claire to discover RPD from their selected character's own point of view.

“We used paid placements to reach many different types of gamers, inviting our most engaged audiences to go further and discover multiple different adventures that lie ahead in the game."

Benali said the ad was inspired by the game. "We love playing with technology and subverting the normal use of native platform functionalities." He noted the inspiration was Hitman Season One's interactive vote whether players should kill actor Cary Busey - or Gary Cole. Snickers' 'Stop the Hunger Game' ads were also cited.

"For Resident Evil 2, we wanted to give viewers a sneak peek of the importance of your choices in the game. At the start you’re given the choice to play with Leon or Claire and then on your journey through the game, you’ll have to make split-second decisions that could keep you alive… or not." The brief was to express this in the ads.

For any brands looking to replicate this work, Benali believes the interaction is all the more powerful for not being forced on the viewer. A third of viewers stuck around to click through to a second video he claimed. 85% of those who clicked thorough stayed until the end of the experience. Those are great numbers."

Biborg was founded in 2009. It has developed experiences for Bandai Namco, Netflix, Riot Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, Wargaming and Warner Bros.

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