Prior to last night’s The Game Awards, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, the subscription service that offers a selection of ready-to-play titles, was mostly known for its console games. But it has a large library of PC offerings as well under the name Xbox Game Pass for PC. In a humorous faux-behind-the-scenes spot featuring FX series "Dave" stars Dave Burd, famously known by his rapper persona Lil Dicky, and fellow rap artist GaTa, the service unveiled a "revolutionary" rebrand for Xbox Game Pass for PC: PC Game Pass.
The spot, made with agency Trailer Park Group, shows Burd and GaTa meeting with agency execs who are trying to get them to appear in a rap video promoting the service. The actors/rappers seem mortified by the idea but then enter into a creative brainstorm with the team.
As the roundtable laments the lack of engagement for Xbox Game Pass for PC’s non-console offerings, Burd, who in a previous life had been an account director and copywriter at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, suggests GaTa leak a list of upcoming PC titles for the service, which he does—in the spot and IRL.
GaTa’s tweet announcing the library additions landed in real-time during The Game Awards:
The conference room goes tense—the idea hadn’t been cleared with Microsoft. But the group continues to throw out ideas, and genius strikes.
“Why not just call it PC Game Pass?” asks GaTa.
Despite Burd’s hesitation, the table is all-in on the re-name. Next, GaTa suggests asking video game streamers to partner and build credibility for the new name. Gaming group 100 Thieves waves from the background. Burd gets flustered as the table becomes smitten with another idea not from him.
The agency team finally turns to him:
“Are we really going to make an ad for The Game Awards and you’re not gonna rap in it at all?” one exec asks.
There’s an awkward silence. "I mean, if I could get away with that,” Burd responds.
The spot ends by proclaiming that he did. His rap plays: “Game Pass has PC games and we’re at the TGAs. I guess that’s kind of like saying the The Game Awards.” Dozens of PC Game Pass subscription codes fly across the screen.
The spot was directed by Smuggler's Tony Yacenda, who's also a television director and has helmed episodes of "Dave."
“The creative idea was born out of our real brainstorm around what we could do on stage at the Game Awards—knowing that we wanted to declare that Game Pass has PC games,” said Geordie Larratt-Smith, VP of gaming at Trailer Park Group, in a statement. “Dave was a natural partner, not least because he has a well-documented ad agency background. Of course, our first thought was him rapping, but then we thought ‘what if we make a spot about making a spot in The Game Awards?’ And we never looked back after that.”
The ad will continue to air through paid social and online video.