Agency: EssemceMediacom 

Client: Pokémon International, Universal Music Group

Director: Jason Zada

Production: Mediamonks

Awards: 12 Clios, 1 Cannes Lion + more

To celebrate Pokémons 25th anniversary, EssenceMediacom's Creative Systems aimed to give Pokémon a fresh, pop-culture twist in the U.S. and Europe. They dreamed up a groundbreaking music festival like no other. Partnering with Universal Music Group, they hatched a plan to invite everyone into an entirely new Pokémon world – all through the power of music and festival culture. The result was a next-generation music video. 13 minutes of motion-captured Post Malone inside of a Pokémon world, created with Unreal Engine.

I was brought in to manage the creative and technology approach of the idea from the original concept that was sold to the client all the way through production. I brought on Jason Zada to direct and then we brought in Mediamonks to produce. The agency trusted me to be in front of their client and sell the technology approach to win their confidence that this team that they have never worked for, could build a digital experience at the scale we were proposing. We were building a game.

"We were creating a virtual world–a year before people started calling things like this the metaverse." 

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We started with a deep dive into Pokémon culture. From the traditional gameplay to the immersive world we envisioned. We had daring ideas that I had to sell to a cautious audience. Pokémon hesitated, but I won them over, thanks to the credibility of the rock star team we assembled. We created an entire virtual world that you would explore through a themed avatar. You would explore the festival and then watch virtual performances. Similar to how players in Fortnite could be part of the Travis Scott experience but this would be in a downloadable game for mobile. Like Fortnite, this was created in Unreal Engine. We were creating a virtual world–a year before people started calling things like this the “metaverse”. 

We had sold them on a game, something that would have been groundbreaking and ahead of it's time.Pokémon's approval process was meticulous. They’re protective of the brand for obvious reasons and it’s been successful. We knew that we could meet the production deadline but the client knew that they would not be able to commit to our timeline. Our dreams were outpacing reality. After a short brainstorm, we pivoted. Instead of an interactive app, we went for a linear animation. We were still able to use the real-time Unreal Engine environment we'd built and worked Post into the mix with a motion-capture shoot.

The result is a next-generation music video with almost 6M views on Post Malone's YouTube channel. The Hootie & The Blowfish cover, that premiered during our video has has 16M views itself. We even made headlines, including in Billboard Magazine, and won industry awards, including Clios and a Cannes Lion.

CREDITS

Mediacom Creative Systems

Chief Creative Officer: Benjamin Vendramin

Executive Creative Director, Technology: Alexander Rea

Head of Business Operations & Delivery: Robby Rigano

Copywriter: Marcelo Dzialoszynski

Art Director: Emiliano Zapata

Associate Director of Content & Production: Lauren Choinski

US Head of Entertainment Partnerships: Lindsey O’Neil

(and more across the partnerships team)

Jason Zada - Director

Mediamonks

Wesley Haar, ter – Founder & Executive Director at S4 Capital Group

Jessica Norton – Executive Produce

Christopher DeVirgilis – Senior Producer

Beryl Chung – Creative Director

(and many more across the global production team)

AWARDS

2022 Webby – Advertising, Media & PR,Media & Entertainment Digital Campaign

2022 One Show Merit – Experiential / Virtual Events

2022 One Show Merit – Influencer Marketing / Multi-Channel

2021 Cannes Lion Gold – Entertainment

2021 Clio Entertainment Gold – Television/Streaming: Innovation

2021 Clio Entertainment Gold – Television/Streaming: Partnerships & Collaborations Campaign

2021 Clio Entertainment Silver – Games: Integrated Campaign

2021 Clio Entertainment Bronze – Television/Streaming: Experiential/Events

2021 Clio Entertainment Gold – Television/Streaming: Innovation

2021 Clio Music Silver – Branded Entertainment & Content

2021 Clio Music Silver – Experience/Activation

2021 Clio Music Silver – Innovation

2021 Clio Music Bronze – Brand and Artist Collaboration Integrated Campaign

2021 Clio Music Bronze – Partnerships & Collaborations

2021 Clio Music Bronze – Partnerships & Collaborations\

2021 Clio Music Bronze – Use of Music in Film/Video

REVIEWS

I asked him to make something fairly impossible and gave him no room for compromise. He and his team figured out a way to do that.

ECD

McCann New York

He can be a real asset when amazing but complicated things need to get done.

Executive Creative

Serviceplan/Pereira O'Dell

Alexander had an impressive ability to explain complex ideas and functionality clearly & calmly.

GCD

Critical Mass

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