December 11th will mark the 10th anniversary of Rovio’s “Angry Birds.” While the title may now be considered a classic in the world of mobile games, a new campaign from Droga5 New York is looking to introduce it to a whole new audience—by inviting them to turn their anger into something “positive.”
The “Bring the Anger” campaign kicks off with “The Rage Rider,” a ridiculous, real new scooter that moves only when its riders scream. Equipped with a microphone, users bellow into it to make it go—the louder they vent their frustrations, the faster it moves.
Droga5 Executive Creative Director Andrew Fergusson explains that Rovio came to the agency to help broaden the game’s audience. Since the game debuted a decade ago, it’s expanded into the broader entertainment world with two films, the second which debuted in August. The game and its spin-offs have been downloaded more than 4.5 billion times collectively, with millions around the globe playing daily.
Still, there's one audience the game wants to reach. “What has sort of happened is that there are kids enjoying it with the movies, and then the original players are all kind of aging up and aren’t necessarily big social sharers,” Fergusson says. “The company wanted to make a big splash to the middle, the Millennial generation, who will share and get everyone excited about the brand again.
Rovio came to the agency with its simple brand purpose as a starting point: “It’s OK to be angry.”
“It was the perfect brief,” Fergusson says. “In the game itself, the movies, everything is done over an injustice—the birds get angry about it and solve the problem.” After brainstorming ideas, “the ones that stood out were about turning anger into something positive," he says.
From there came the idea of “The Rage Rider.”
“As soon as we had this idea I obviously got very excited,” says Creative Technology Director Brian Moore. The agency quickly dove into prototyping mode to see if the idea was even possible and within 48 hours had a working model. "We had an absolute blast making it, and it was so much fun than I ever expected it to be. To find out that it’s actually really fun to ride is a pretty magical feeling.”
Once the prototype was made, the agency partnered with Ford-owned electric scooter company Spin to bring the idea to life at scale and created a batch of about 100 Rage Riders. Those are being distributed to select press and influencers, including what Rovio has dubbed its “Squawk Squad,” consisting of influencers including Deestroying, Tanner Fox, Lexi Rivera, Shonduras, My Life as Eva and Team Edge. The Rage Rider is also being promoted in a goofy video that parodies classic kids’ toy ads.
The “Bring the Anger” program will continue over the coming weeks. Another phase will include an in-game event in partnership with UNICEF Finland. Players will be encouraged to “pop” as many pigs as they can throughout the month of November, and to cap off the effort Rovio will make a $100K donation to a UNICEF program supporting the education of children in conflict zones.
Rovio is also planning an event to be held on November 21 in New York’s Times Square, which will center on a yet-to-be-revealed device that invites locals and tourists to convert their rage into something good.