I’m by no means a gamer. Any of my friends who have ever played video games with me usually laugh and ask me to keep playing because they find my ineptitude so amusing. That being said, this Halo 3 commercial moved me the first time I saw it. I know it has been out for about two years, but it’s definitely worth commenting on.
It is cinematic in scope and brings back vivid memories for any child who ever played with G.I. Joe action figures. The model battlefield is so elaborate that it almost makes you remember playing with action figures as better than it ever actually was. It has what we never had: the explosions, the rocky battlefield landscape, the pained expressions on the faces of the soldiers.
But my actual point here is that the music is what seals the deal on the effectiveness of this ad. It stirs up our longing for heroism and conveys the epic nature of this battle. And as the soldier held captive by the enemy in the end looks into the camera (the only actual movement in the entire commercial), we feel that even in the worst possible situation, there is hope.
Or at least I do. Maybe I’m a bit romantic. But that may be exactly what they are tapping into here: that little boy that still lives inside every man.
And while I’m on the topic of video game commercials and the excellent use of music, I have to mention a Gears of War ad that came out about four years ago. It appropriates the Michael Andrews version of the tune “Mad World” – which, not coincidentally, was popularized by the movie Donnie Darko (though the song was originally written and performed by Tears for Fears). The reason I say this is not a coincidence is because I believe that the game makers are intentionally targeting that demographic since the film quickly became a cult hit for teenagers and the just-went-to-college crowd, a number of whom are gamers. Though not as moving as the Halo 3 commercial, it’s appealing in it’s own right.
Oh, and I found the Lipton Iced Tea ad with singing fish, which I’ll post on here soon.