LONDON--(I AM PLAYR the social football game from We R Interactive has taken the prestigious gold trophy in the Branded Content and Entertainment category for ‘best use or integration of gaming’ at this year’s Cannes Lions Awards. The category is new this year, making We R Interactive the first company to be awarded the accolade.)--
“To be the honoured with a Gold Lion by the world’s most prestigious creative advertising and communications awards - traditionally the reserve of the advertising industry; in this new category recognising innovation and excellence in branded content and entertainment is particularly exciting.”
Now in its 59th year the Cannes Lions Awards set the benchmark for excellence in creative advertising and communications globally. This year entries reached an all-time high, with more than 34, 000 entries from 87 countries, across 15 categories.
I AM PLAYR is the first ever online football game to let users play the life of a professional footballer. It fuses live action video, interactive story-telling and first-person perspective 3D game play where the storyline is dictated by the player's decisions and actions both on and off the pitch. We R Interactive's platform allows innovative brand integrations to flow seamlessly around the core narrative. As well as global brands, the game also features some of football’s biggest stars such as Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Aaron Lennon and Mark Noble, amongst others.
I AM PLAYR has grown a large global audience, with over 1 million players from across 210 countries spending over 50 minutes per day playing the game and heavily engaging with, and consuming, the innovative branded content the platform delivers.
This award recognises the creativity, innovation and success of I AM PLAYR in meeting Nike’s objectives of creating engagement with its core target audience reinforcing the brand’s commitment to football and positioning them as leaders in innovation whilst driving product awareness and sales, through its integration into the game.
Nike is woven seamlessly into the very core of I AM PLAYR and all the content revolving around life on the pitch - from interactive storylines such as visiting the Nike Academy, to Nike branded product appearing in all football related scenes and game play content such as pitch hoarding advertising. The entire Nike boots range is available in the I AM PLAYR virtual product store with boots giving the user different in-game attributes corresponding to the real world attributes of the boots.
To date the platform has delivered for Nike a staggering 5.5 million boot views, 5.5 million in-game Nike store visits, with 500, 000 pairs of Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII’s trialled and 400,000 pairs of boots purchased in-game; plus more than 68 years of Nike-branded video content viewed.
Award-winning social entertainment company Bigballs Films is the production partner on I AM PLAYR.
Paul Whitehead, Global Commercial Director, We R Interactive commented, “We’re delighted to share this award with Nike, who as a principle founding sponsor of I AM PLAYR shared our vision from the start for blending the best of film and games production to create a unique digital branded content platform where brands can credibly engage and communicate with their target audience by connecting with them on their own terms.
"To be the honoured with a Gold Lion by the world’s most prestigious creative advertising and communications awards - traditionally the reserve of the advertising industry; in this new category recognising innovation and excellence in branded content and entertainment is particularly exciting.”
About We R Interactive
We R Interactive blends the best of games, film and TV production to create social games that bring global audiences together around sport and music.
We R Interactives' first game, I AM PLAYR – the first ever online game that lets users play the life of a professional footballer launched officially in October 2011 the game now has over one million monthly users. It fuses live action video, interactive story-telling and first-person perspective 3D game play to create a truly original narrative, where the storyline is dictated by the player's decisions and actions both on and off the pitch. We R Interactive's story-telling technology lets the game track multiple narratives, allowing innovative brand integrations to flow seamlessly around the core narrative.
Other brand partners to I AM PLAYR include Nike, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo and top football talent featured in the game includes Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Aaron Lennon, amongst others. I AM PLAYR has established a flourishing virtual economy with Red Bull selling more than 2 million cans in the game and powering more than 1.5 million training drills to date. In addition, almost 400,000 pairs of Nike boots have been purchased and users have watched more than 68 years of Nike-branded video.
In 2012 I AM PLAYR was nominated for best online browser game at the BAFTA Video Game Awards
In June 2012 We R Interactive announced that it will be launching a new interactive music game called Lyroke, with the world’s leading music company Universal Music UK as debut partner.
We R Interactive is backed by high-profile figures from music, sport, film, finance and advertising including Elio Leoni-Sceti, former CEO EMI Music and former leading City financier and MD of Liverpool FC Christian Purslow. Other shareholders include Eric Fellner, co-founder of Working Title Films, Paul Fitzsimons ex-media sector partner at Apax Partners and Peter Mead, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
About 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 17-23 June 2012, Cannes, France:
The International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions – www.canneslions.com, is the world's leading celebration of creativity in communications. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France.
As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 28,800 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy honouring the most creative Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR, Titanium and Creative Effectiveness ideas. The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers, advertising and communication professionals. Close to 9,500 delegates from 95 countries attend seven days of exhibitions, screenings, as well as 57 high-profile seminars, 20 workshops and master classes presented by renowned worldwide industry leaders. As the networking and learning opportunity of the year, Cannes Lions is the must-attend event for anyone involved in brand communication.