ITV's latest element in its ongoing "Drama vs Reality" campaign is a video game in which reality TV stars and actors can fight it out, '90s arcade-game style.
Agency Uncommon created the desktop game in the style of classic 1990’s 16-bit "beat ’em up" arcade games, tapping into nostalgia for the likes of "Streetfighter" and "Mortal Kombat."
It includes animated versions of six characters featured in the campaign's TV ads so far: reality stars Ferne McCann, Bobby Norris and Kem Cetinay and actors Jason Watkins, Richie Campbell and Anna Friel. Fight scenes take place in animated recreations of some of the ITV shows featured, from the "Love Island" villa to the "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" jungle camp and grand rooms from a period drama similar to "Downton Abbey."
The game was crafted in collaboration with Rave Growl and Node London, who played up the arcade nostalgia. It opens with a spinning coin that you need to click to start the game and includes details such as remastered synth versions of TV theme tunes. Each famous player also has a special move and victory dance if they win their fight, reflecting the classic games.
To promote the game, there's also a Twitch partnership, the first integrated partnership the platform has done with a TV broadcaster. There will be a Twitch livestream on Aug. 31 with a yet-to-be revealed host.
“Making a real game was next level for ITV," said Nils Leonard, co-founder at Uncommon, in a statement. "We loved bringing 'Drama vs Reality' to life with nostalgic influences from the '90s with every pixel crafted in 16-bit. Gaming and advertising are a natural partnering that doesn’t get enough air-time. More brands should be playing in this space connecting to millions through gaming experiences. We can’t wait for the Studio to make more of a mark in this world.”