Smartphones are great for ordering taxis, finding mates and detecting monsters. But Ubisoft and BETC Paris have attempted to show that they can control much more than that with a great stunt for the soon-to-be released hacker-themed game Watch Dogs.
The stunt shows unsuspecting customers entering a mobile phone repair shop, before being shown an app by the shopkeeper that can hack into a range of electronic devices and control them with the touch of a smartphone button.
“For this hidden camera exercise to work properly, attention to detail was the prime consideration,” says Thomas Boutte, BETC Paris account director. “Everything had to be set up so as not to give the game away. To create such an unexpected and incredible experience, we worked with one of the best stunt directors in the world, Cecilia Verheyden, to recreate every hack that (Watch Dogs hero) Aiden Pearce is able to do in the game.”
This clip adds to a whole heap of innovative marketing activity to create buzz around the game, including H_IDE, a social media encryption app, a fashion collection by Frank & Oak, and a Facebook app called Digital Shadow.
It’s also created a ten minute trailer, worked with filmmaker Devin Graham for a parkour-related clip and supported a Vice documentary series on hacking.
And it seems to be working. According to Variety, Watch Dogs is already the most pre-ordered game of the year (with more than 800,000 sales), Ubisoft expects to sell 6.3 million copies this year and there’s a movie in the works.