BBH New York dramatizes a playful rivalry.
BBH New York stages a flirtatious and long-running rivalry in this Sony PlayStation ad supporting the launch of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II, which drops Nov. 17.
Our story begins with boy meeting girl. In this case, the boy fancies himself a heroic Jedi, while the girl moves into the neighborhood conspicuously garbed in black and toting around a Darth Vader action figure.
A spirited, playful battle of the sexes takes hold and intensifies through the years, with Hungry Man director Wayne McClammy pulling out all the visual stops, yet never losing sight of the human story, as the guy and gal play increasingly elaborate games of one-upmanship that would make George Lucas proud:
Yeah, dude that’s a chill TIE-fighter piñata at your backyard birthday party, but it pales in comparison to her waaaay chiller Death Star treehouse! Though, as teens, covering her car with an elaborate heap of snow shaped like R2-D2 was sweet revenge served cold. Ultimately, your big mistake, my man, was getting too comfy playing Star Wars games on PlayStation as a young adult, leaving yourself wide open to her all-out AT-AT attack with the fiery wall-busting destruction.
Talk about a star-crossed pair!
That they ultimately wind up inside the game, merged with the pixelated action and warring on distant worlds with armored hordes at their command, seems fitting. This climax gives the spot an extra dimension missing from similar Star Wars-related ads for Duracell and the earlier iteration of Battlefront. It speaks more eloquently to the bonds of fandom and the power of video games than a conventional ending—e.g., they get married, have kids and pass on their love of the Star Wars franchise—ever could.
Though their relationship stays platonic, the depth of passion seems positively transcendent. Their journey reminds us how rad it would be to escape our daily grind for a galaxy far away, competing against an evenly matched soulmate/rival on fantastic battlefields beyond space and time.
CREDITS Client: PlayStation Film: Rivalry Produce: PS4, Star Wars Battlefront II Campaign Name: Greatness Awaits Eric Lempel, Senior Vice President & Head of PlayStation Network Mary Yee, Vice President, Marketing Eric Lachter, Director Brand Marketing Alex Gomez, Brand Manager Cody Morales, Brand Manager Renée M. Holt, Manager, Agency Partnerships Alex Hackford, Senior Artists & Repertoire / Music Affairs Justin Fields, Music Affairs Specialist Agency: BBH New York Gerard Caputo, Chief Creative Officer Alex Booker, Creative Director Philip Sicklinger, Creative Director Aimée Perrin, Art Director Stu Rubin, Copywriter Kate Morrison, Head of Production Adam Perloff, Executive Producer Christopher Galvin, Associate Producer Librado Sanchez, Breck Henson, Director of Business Affairs Kendra Schaaf, Account Director Johnny Skwirut, Account Manager Kendra Salvatore, Head of Strategy Alex Beerden, Strategist Dylan Fauss, Strategist Zack Green, Comms Strategist Production Company: Hungry Man Director: Wayne McClammy DOP: Dion Beebe Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura Line Producer: Dave Bernstein Edit Company: Work Editorial Editor: Jono Griffith Assistant Editor: Ellie McNaughtan & Trevor Myers Edit Producer: Jamie Lynn Perritt Edit Executive Producer: Jane Dilworth Star Wars Visual Effects Industrial Light & Magic ILM Associate VFX Supervisor: Hayden Landis ILM Layout Supervisor: John Levin ILM Layout Supervisor: Talmage Watson ILM Animation Supervisor: Paul Kavanaugh ILM Lighting Supervising Technical Dir: Leandro Estebecorena ILM Compositing Supervisor: Jason Porter ILM Compositing Supervisor: Mike Conte ILM VFX Producer: Megan Matousek ILM Associate VFX Production Manager: Emily Nelson “Rivalry” Vignettes Visual Effects THE MILL NY The Mill VFX Creative Director: Nathan Kane The Mill Lead Compositor: Siro Valente The Mill Compositing Assists: Marco Baratto, Kyle Zemborain The Mill CG Lead: Christian Neilson The Mill Shoot Supervisors: Nathan Kane, Gregory Gangemi The Mill Executive Producer: Chris Kiser The Mill Senior Producer: Nirad “Bugs” Russell The Mill Line Producer: Perry Tate The Mill Production coordinator: Zach Fortin Colorist: Fergus McCall Audio House: Skywalker Sound Re-recording/Mixer Bonnie Wild Star Wars Music Composed by: John Williams Star Wars Music Master: Lucasfilms /Disney Star Wars Music Publishing: Disney; Warner/Chappel Original Music Composed by Phil Kay Original Music Company Woodwork Music
David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek’s New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.