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

A way out of your dystopian nightmare

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