Becoming a viral sensation is the coveted Holy Grail in the cut-throat realm of marketing and communication. Millions strive for it, a handful actually succeed. Social media goes ballistic and media outlets go even crazier trying to catch a ride on the wave of success. In the lead-up to the Oscars last month, one group of London based directors at The Line Animation, came very close to becoming a viral sensation.
The group whipped up a slick classic-arcade style game that had the makings of a viral sensation, with its super-shareable nature and addictive yet thought provoking mini-games. Consequently, they were shocked at how quickly the game exploded online.
Sam Taylor and his team of directors watched it spread across the globe with wonder in their eyes, “it’s insane!” Sam said, “we’ve been following the analytics on the widescreen TV in the middle of the office.” According to him, it was being shared so quickly that it had over 1000 plays a minute consistently in the few days since release, “we thought it would have died down but it just keeps picking up.”
A KEY MASHER FROM THE START
The idea was born out of the mind of Bjorn-Erik Aschim, “we wanted it to be a key masher from the very beginning. It had to be a game that would make a lot of noise in people’s offices and get a lot of attention that way.” From its conception, it was an idea that the entire team was unanimously onboard with. The team cracked up when he made a website with a gif on it. “We knew we had something good when we had more ideas than we could use,” he added.
The game has ticked all the boxes in the digital realm and must be commended; It is stylistically beautiful, graphically nostalgic, easy to pickup and has an incentive that is completely irrational but highly addictive. Most importantly, it was bursting with currency with the Oscars event so close to its release date.
JUST THE TIP
But this was more than just a pretty package. Of course, it had Leonardo DiCaprio, who would never get an Oscar (in game at least). But more importantly, the game cleverly addresses some harder hitting issues through a series of mini-games. In particular, one where you have to look for the black nominee, who of course, doesn’t exist – resulting in an instant failure. Bjorn explains that they couldn’t make this game and not cover the most controversial aspect of this year’s Oscar.
“The fact that there were no black nominees in a pool of talent that had many good contenders who were of colour. The unexpectedness of it catches people off-guard and forces you to think twice about what just happened.”
The web-based game created a storm on social media but sadly, Leo hasn’t gotten in touch with the group, however they are still optimistic that he eventually will.
Although the Oscars is over (congratulations Leo btw), the game still stands as a testimony to how an infectious idea was executed to perfection, one that could provoke insight and address an issue in a 16-bit package. The game was launched on agame.com last week and is also on the Google Play Store for Android devices.