Samsung Mobile's epic sci-fi soccer battle, which has been playing out in big-budget videos since last November, has finally reached its conclusion.
"The Match Part 2," released this week as a coda to the World Cup around which the campaign was focused, completes the series pitting global superstars against Predator-style alien baddies. The six-minute animated film was crafted by agencies R/GA and Cheil Worldwide with production company Psyop.
The new clip already has 4 million YouTube views in its first two days online. "The Match Part 1" bowed in early June and has 12 million views so far. At its conclusion, the offworlders—fearsome foes with gravity-defying moves—led 3-1.
Now the human team featuring Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Götze among others (not-so-subtly branded The Galaxy 11) must dig deep and mount a comeback. Naturally, the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.
So, does soccer save the world? If you don't want the ending spoiled, watch the video below before reading more.
C'mon, was the outcome every really in doubt? The destruction of humanity would be way too much of a downer for the eight-month campaign, which included all manner of social and interactive outreach. Besides, if Earth were reduced to cosmic ash, Samsung's market would pretty much disappear. (Martians prefer Apple. It's a fact.)
Samsung does, however, bend it like Beckham with a sneaky final twist that I didn't see coming. (No, the twist doesn't actually involve the English Football great.)
Overall, the preamble videos, which dealt with the formation of The Galaxy 11 team, and the two-part "Match" finale rank as dazzling, if slightly predictable, branded entertainment. The campaign was impeccably produced and genuinely engaging, a clever and successful reshuffling of big-screen action/fantasy tropes.
Sure, the client's technology is on display, but its presence never disrupts the storyline. In fact, during the final confrontation, the products get kind of lost amid all the action. I was expecting, even hoping, that Samsung functionality would save the day, but that's not the way the soccer ball ultimately bounces.
Bottom line: No humans are disintegrated or devoured, not even Landon Donovan, who gets to play in a high-stakes game after all.
Here are a few of the earlier installments, in case you missed some of the action: