The new ads this fall, via Leo Burnett, Detroit-based interactive agency Digitas and Hollywood, Calif.-based Stardust Productions, include a recently launched 60-second ad and two 30-second spots.
In the ads, the cars--the GXP versions of G6, Solstice and Torrent crossover--and the urban world through which they pass, are shot in black and white and appear in 2-D rendering. As the creative transmogrifies into 3-D imagery, the cars fill out and colorize, feature by feature.
Each spot is tagged with voiceover from actor Matt Dillon, and features the music track "Pogo" from EMI/Virgin recording artists Digitalism.
Jeff Cruz, senior vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett, says the Halo tie-in is explicit in a 30-second cut down of the "Details" spot. In that ad, the G6 is zooming through a black-and-white 2-D world, and as it goes through a transformation to 3-D, the "Halo 3" logo appears on roadside flags, light poles and on wild postings in tunnels. The car finishes with a power slide in front of a billboard for the game.
The billboard then turns from 2-D to 3-D as well, becoming a full-color, animated video showing some of the footage from the new game. Finally, the spot touts a "Halo 3" promotion housed at Pontiac.com/halo3, offering a chance for consumers to play the game before it is released in stores on Sept. 25.
Pontiac held an exclusive event in New York last night for a small number of people to pay the game. Also, Pontiac may run "Halo 3" content on its LED-illuminated Times Square billboards on the eve of the game's launch, which will take place at the Times Square Toys R Us.
Cruz says the deal was easy to do because Digitas had worked with the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant on other initiatives. "Our car was coming out in September, they had "Halo 3" coming, so there was an opportunity to play ball together and help each other out," he says.
Brad Tucker, creative director at Stardust, says the broad GXP effort is focused on bringing forth vehicle details. "They start off black and white, and slowly the chrome builds up until there's a photo-real look feature by feature, but it's a little non-linear, and the effect jumps from car to car to car," he says. "They brought us the idea and knew they wanted to build up the idea of bringing in details. We story-boarded it, showed them the look and feel."
The new GXP spots will run on NCAA broadcasts, of which Pontiac is a sponsor, this fall and shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Kimmel appears in ads for GM's OnStar.
Separately, Halo 3 is getting track time on Nascar's Nextel Cup circuit. Racer David Stremme's No. 40 car will wear a "Halo 3" paint scheme. Target and Microsoft are giving certain drivers the chance to play the game as well, per a joint promotion.