Somewhere in an office of Coca Cola there’s a marketing exec enjoying celebratory sips of Coke Zero while enjoying a hefty cash bonus. Combining a video game and an advertisement?
Why did nobody do this before? Oh wait, they have. They all sucked.
This time Sony and their arsenal of beloved characters such as Nathan Drake and Rachet & Clank were chosen to entice Android users into downloading PlayStation All-Stars Island. The game, a supposed sequel to the All-Stars franchise is a co-creation of Coca Cola.
Fancy a Coke?
Right off the bat I was annoyed. Not by the Coca Cola branding slapped on every menu, surface or character item but by the loading screens. I’m pretty sure the developers purposely made them last an eternity so we’d all stare silently at the Coke branding.
When the game does load up (by which time you’ll actually be thirsty for a coke) it’s clear a bad Temple Run clone is the order of the day. Running games are fun but why try to copy something that’s inherently much better. Especially when everyone already knows about it.
Anyway, after fifteen minutes of collecting coke bottles while sprinting I became weary of the jaunty game-play and muddy graphics. Something about the ground and vegetation appearing to melt together in a pile of pixels is off-putting.
I dug a little deeper into the game and discovered that the whole premise is to unlock special moves, which enable you to move to new levels and unlock new characters. You can do this in one of two ways. You can either play the game and destroy every Sony character you’ve ever loved. Or you can fold, buy a Coke Zero, scan the QR code and get there a litte faster.
I hope that marketing exec is mighty proud of himself for thinking of that one. QR codes. Thrilling.
Let’s pretend the ad is a game
Critically assessing this piece of junk as a game feels wrong. This should be the job of some advertising awards panel. Nevertheless, I’ll struggle on.
As a game from a huge developer is sucks. The quality is something you’d expect from a small colab-indie team working on their first project, desperate to get SOMETHING out there.
Graphics are, in fact, okay. I mean it’s 3D and in colour. But that’s about it. Don’t expect to be in awe of the same scenery and textures being used again and again and again.
The sound is just awful. It’s the same music on a very short loop played constantly.
Just Play Temple Run
Is there a fun factor? Well, yes. I guess there is. It’s a video game with challenges to complete and it can get tricky at times. But there remains an overbearing shadow of Temple Run – if you want to play a fun running game – play that!
Overall I think Coca Colas marketing plan is going to be successful. The game is free. ‘Free’, the most powerful word in advertising. And it has two of the most well known brands behind it; Sony and Coca Cola. Along with a string of recognisable characters.
But as a video game? Hell no. Sorry Mr. Marketing Executive, I’m not going to drink the Coolaid. Sorry. Coke Zero.