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Xbox 360 Touts Hollywood Tie-ins

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LOS ANGELES A spot for Microsoft's Xbox 360 breaking this week eschews the use of game footage.

Using clay animation, the spot shows the animator from the neck down. The artist, from production house Moo Studios here, first sculpts a web and spider. Next, he molds the clay into a pirate's face. Finally, he fashions a likeness of the Shrek character. Games for Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Shrek the Third are coming out on the Xbox platform.

"We're trying to show the Xbox titles for summer blockbusters, from three different studios, all with super-specific guidelines on intellectual property," said Scott Duchon, cd at Interpublic Group's McCann Worldgroup in San Francisco. "We liked the idea of a fine arts presentation. We wanted it to feel organic and not fake, to really get a sense of the artist pounding the clay in shape, but with a little magic."

Because the movie titles are also available for other platforms, such as Sony's PlayStation, it was important for McCann to develop creative that would communicate the brand's personality, Duchon said.

"We know that people like to see the games themselves," he said. "But they know what they are and that they are out, and beyond there is no difference: The game is the game."

Otherwise, when the technology of the platforms reaches virtual parity, "you have to have a point of view. We want people to like what Xbox stands for," he said.

Microsoft spent $40 million advertising the Xbox last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.