102 Dalmatians Set to Roll

With Walt Disney Co. set to unleash its much hyped holiday film 102 Dalmatians, publicity is being fired up in other areas.

Among the many ancillary efforts is a new videogame titled Disney’s 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue from Eidos Interactive. The game is being pushed in a new $75,000 TV spot breaking today from Duncan/Channon, San Rafael, Calif.

Titled “Billy Wanted Puppies,” it shows the life of a boy named Billy who bemoans the fact that his parents won’t let him own puppies because new carpets were just installed.

Billy tries to compensate by having fun with cardboard dogs. At one point, he asks the dogs to ”sit” and later plays an unsuccessful game of fetch with them.

The spot explains how the videogame would allow Billy to both play catch with dogs and battle villains such as Cruella De Vil, who is featured in the film.

“We wanted to have a kid who was appealing and resourceful,” creative director Robert Duncan said. “He triumphs over his antiseptic environment. He’s a hero because he’ll find a way to have dogs—even if he’s not allowed to have dogs.”

Duncan said the idea of a resourceful kid was one that agency creatives had when they started to design the commercial.

”We wanted something kids will get and laugh at, but we also wanted another level of humor for adults because this kid has uptight parents,” Duncan explained.

The client also thought different generations would enjoy the spot. ”Duncan/ Channon has created a piece that has tremendous appeal for parents and kids alike,” said Sutton Trout, director of creative affairs and licensing for Eidos. ”It’s smart and funny and true to the spirit of a 9-year-old.”

The copywriter was Brad Hamilton, and the associate creative director was Anne Elisco Lemme.

Eidos designs games for PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Sega and Microsoft’s upcoming XBox.