PICK OF THE WEEK Gametap "Mexican Puppet Show"

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Gametap 'Puppet Show'
Gametap 'Puppet Show'
Part of Mullen's 300-plus part, cross media campaign for Turner's broadband games channel, this spot leverages some extremely analog charm to convey the pleasures of rediscovering arcade classic Pac Man.

Mullen in Wenham created the campaign, which includes print, online, broadcast, and 50 or so short clips for Turner's Gametap, an online service which allows users to play hundreds of console, arcade and PC games on their computers. The "Mexican Puppet Show" execution was created as one of a series of short videos depicting video game icons outside of their usual warring, shooting or chomping context. It was launched as a viral, but ended up airing on cable after an exec from Cartoon Network took a shine to it. The spot, produced out of Mekanism—the company behind the equally excellent Sega Monkey Ball series—features the eternal struggle between Pac Man and the ghosts as interpreted in a rudimentary puppet show, held before an enthralled audience of children in a dusty village. The performance of the elderly puppet master—a member of a Mexican acting dynasty, according to agency creatives—is superb. No subtitles translate his narration of the simplistic battle, and none are necessary.

Many of the clips in the campaign are quite engaging in their portrayal of the characters in mundane, very human scenarios. They all have a broad appeal that seems appropriate for trawling for more casual or lapsed gamers who might be inclined to sign on to be able to play new and old favorites on the desktop and they show the cultural and emotional resonance of games. This spot goes above and beyond though, demonstrating that for a Man with no face, the little yellow orb muncher Pacs an emotional punch.
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