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Old Spice: Level Up Your Legacy

Wieden+Kennedy Portland

Wieden+Kennedy Portland

Old Spice: Level Up Your Legacy

To level-up the legacies of Iman Shumpert, Nick Cannon and Director X, we developed three side-scrolling games inspired by each celebrity’s road to success. Starring influential events and characters from the celebrities’ lives, each game is split into three levels featuring past, present and future situations tied together by comic-book-style cutscenes. Every game is designed entirely by hand, with custom pixel-art animations and a bespoke 8-bit soundtrack for each level. The games serve as a companion to a magnificently meta set of video interviews in which fans can watch the celebrities tackle their own games, resulting in some next-level nostalgia.

From Interviews to Level Design
W+K wanted to create a series of games that weren’t just biographical but truly reflective of the celebrities’ success stories, all the way down to the game mechanics and Easter Eggs. Pulling from initial interviews and thorough research, carried out by Complex, we made the games chock-full of real-life references so obscure that even the celebrities were surprised. Whether it’s a specific street sign or an animated cameo from a celebrity’s highschool teacher, visual details were stacked high to make for nine beautifully rich levels.

Same Structure, Different Styles, Gameplays and Sounds
While every game had the same structure chronicling the celebrities’ past, present and future trials and triumphs, we went wild when it came to making each game a self-standing mini-saga. Each story got its own pixel-art animation style reflecting the celebrity’s appearance and achievements. The same is true for the game’s nine-part soundtrack, which was composed based on the specific sounds of the celebrity’s success as a sportsman, performer or director.

Even the mechanics of each game were specifically designed around the protagonists’ professional industry and personal challenges. Being a professional basketball player, for example, is all about speed and accuracy and so the gameplay for Iman Shumpert’s game is all about dexterity. As a rapper and comedian, the mechanics of Nick Cannon’s game are all timing-based. And because Director X was heavily inspired by sci-fi movies, his game is more (light, camera) action based. All different and diverse, the games demonstrate the creative possibilities of simple side-scrolling games in a way only Old Spice and W+K can.

Watch & Win
On the campaign’s site, fans are able to watch the celebrities play through their own lives in one of the most self-referential series of video interviews to ever exist. The celebrities are visibly blown away by the level of detail and accuracy in the storytelling, sparking conversation and commentary far beyond the game. The kooky details didn't just fuel an anecdotes galore but also lashings of life advice, making for an interview series far more interesting than your average Q&A, which is just average. And because the games are fully playable to the public, fans can even can play the games for themselves and try to beat the celebrities at their own lives.

Old Spice: Level Up Your Legacy

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