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Ad of the Day: PlayStation Vue Helps You Escape From the Evil Clutches of Big Cable

A way out of your dystopian nightmare

The cable companies won't take no for an answer.

Forget about the Thought Police … here comes the cable company!

Big Cable is portrayed as a dystopian, soul-sucking force (not a big stretch there) in "Escape," the first TV spot for Sony's PlayStation Vue from Venables Bell & Partners.

As the minute-long ad opens, a dull ochre haze hangs over the land. The grim silence is punctuated by the tinny din of loudspeakers hawking new cable bundles to residents of a drab housing tract. Cable trucks roam the streets like hungry sharks seeking prey.

So, it basically looks a bit like Albuquerque … on a good day.

Our hero refuses to play a losing game, though. Rather than renew his cable contract when his TV orders him to "COMPLY!," he goes on the run—with white-capped cable guys in hot pursuit. In a cute bit, the all-seeing corporate call center coordinates his pursuit, announcing, "This escape may be monitored for quality assurance."

Just as capture seems certain, a manhole opens and our hero descends into darkness and makes his way toward … freedom? Schenectady? Watch the clip to find out:



"One of our goals was to create a hero that our target could relate to," Tyler Hampton, creative director at VB+P, tells Adweek. "Gamers are always fighting a system of some kind in their gameplay, and we wanted to recreate that feeling in the spot. People are tired of the status quo and the feeling of being stuck, so there was a rich emotional vein to tap into. As well as identifying the problem, we wanted to lead them to the solution in a gamer way. A secret tunnel was a natural." 

The spot retains the futuristic flavor of PS Vue's past work from former agency Johannes Leonardo, taking the sci-fi themes in an edgy new direction. Overall, it's a satisfying, cinematic ride from Park Pictures director Lance Acord (the man behind Apple's "Misunderstood," which won the 2014 Emmy Award for best ad, and many other hits.)

And if "Escape" falls a tad flat at the finish, devolving into sheer predictability, well, what did you expect? This is a commercial, after all. It's not like cable guys are going to catch up and shove the guy's head inside a set-top-box filled with rats until he agrees to sign a new contract. That only happens in real life.

CREDITS
Client: Sony PlayStation
SVP of Marketing and Head of Playstation Network: Eric Lempel
Senior Director, Americas Marketing: Nancy Kim
Senior Manager, Product Marketing: Lynda Chen
Manager, Product Marketing: Lori Kackenmeister
Associate Marketing Specialist: Michele Ewing
Director Corporate Communications at PlayStation: Karen Auby
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Chairman: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tyler Hampton
Associate Creative Director: Alex Rice
Copywriter: Chris Bull
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Senior Producer: Emily Moore
Production Company: Park Pictures
Director: Lance Acord
Director of Photography: Lance Acord
Executive Producer: Caroline Kousidonis
Line Producer: Tracy Broaddus
Editing Company: Exile
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Assistant Editor: Grant Hall, Jess Baclesse
Post Producer: Toby Louie
Editorial Executive Producer: CL Weaver
Editorial Head Of Production: Jennifer Locke
Music House/SFX: Walker
Composer (Escape): Judson Crane
Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo
VO Casting: Sound + Fury
Mix: Lime
Mixer: Jeff Malen
Mix Producer: Susie Boyajan
VFX Studio: a52
VFX Supervisor: Patrick Murphy
Head of 3D: Kirk Shintani
CG Supervisor: Adam Newman
2D VFX Artists: Patrick Murphy, Matt Sousa, Steven Wolff, Hugh Seville, Cameron Coombs, Mike Vaglienty, Christel Hazard, Richard Hirst, Dan Ellis
3D Artists: Adam Newman, John Balcome, Manny Guizar, Jose Limon, Joe Chiechi, Mike Bettinardi
Matte Painting: Dark Hoffman
Flame Assistants: Gabe Sanchez, Kevin Stokes
Roto Artists: Tiffany Germann, Cathy Shaw, Robert Shaw
Production Coordinator: Kelly Noecker
VFX Producer: Michael Steinmann
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
Design Studio: Elastic
Design Art Director: Mike Calvert
Designers: Mike Calvert, Jon Forsman
Animator: Peter Murphy
Design Producers: Jenny Bright, Catherine Yi
VFX/Design Head Of Production: Kim Christensen
Design Executive Producer: Belinda Blacklock
Design Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall
Head of Brand Management: David Corns
Brand Director: Elaine Chu
Brand Manager: Gillian McBrayer

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