Ad of the Day: Xbox One Invites You to Live Inside Your Entertainment

CP+B blurs the lines

The whole world's a video game these days. Or at least, a commercial for one.

Case in point: "Invitation," Crispin Porter + Bogusky's rip-roaring 90-second spot for Microsoft's Xbox One, highlighting the fusion of high-tech gaming, entertainment and real life.

The 90-second spot, directed by Bryan Buckley, shows average people in everyday settings beckoned into the excitement of Xbox entertainment by characters or elements of games and movies available on the highly anticipated console, coming Nov. 22. A giant bot from Titanfall noisily crashes a stuffy boardroom meeting to whisk a business exec away to interplanetary adventure. England soccer captain Steven Gerrard motions for a kid in the stands to join him on the field. Zachary Quinto's Mr. Spock beams into a train station with a pointed invitation for a young woman waiting on the platform. (Nice eyebrow elevation, Spock!) In the best bit, when a zombie from Dead Rising 3 raises its arm to signal a college kid studying in a library to join him, that arm falls off, so it has to gesture with its other one.

At the end, we see the people in the homes, partaking in some Xbox One action, and showing off features like gesture-sensitive menus, the ability to answer Skype calls and voice-command recognition. It's a fun, dynamic commercial, and its creators, Buckley included, offer insights in the requisite "making of" companion spot.

Throughout "Invitation," the narrator's argument that "your games and entertainment are no longer separated, but together, in one," is well made, but entirely trumped, in my humble opinion, by the more overarching theme of it all being integrated with our daily lives. Today, we're all media: Our games and entertainment are part of us, inseparable from ourselves, always just a click away, ever ready to liberate our tired psyches after a day of cubicle captivity or domestic drudgery.

(Other recent gaming spots make similar points, with Activision proposing that the pull of a new release is so strong, real-world measures must be taken so we can play, and Sony PlayStation showing how high-tech gaming has become entwined with nostalgia.)

It's ironic, perhaps, but inescapable, that both realms—the home and office grind and the escape offered by immersive, cutting-edge media—collide in technology, using the same bytes, pixels, microprocessors and broadband access to encroach upon and enrich our lives. Soon, there will be no separation whatsoever. We'll run up high scores as we compete for raises and promotions at our corporate GameJobs and amass points in competitions for daily deals by changing diapers and mowing the lawn.

Technology sets us free, as it enslaves us, as it sets us free.


Client: Microsoft

Spot: "Invitation"

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly

Executive Creative Director: Adam Chasnow

Creative Directors: Alex Lea, Avital Pinchevsky, Michael Raso, Matt Elhardt

Senior Art Director: Robbin Ingvarsson

Senior Copywriter: Waldemar Wegelin

Director of Video Production: Chad Hopenwasser

Executive Integrated Producer: Aaron Kovan

Junior Integrated Producer: Jamie Slade

Production Company: Hungry Man, Los Angeles

Director: Bryan Buckley

Visual Effects Director: Phil Crowe

Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura

Line Producer: Brady Vant Hull

Director of Photography: Scott Henrikson

Editing Company: Cut + Run, Santa Monica, Calif.

Editor: Jay Nelson

Assistant Editors: Dustin Zimmerman, Brooke Rupe

Senior Producer: Amburr Farls

Mix Company: Lime Studios, Santa Monica, Calif.

Audio Engineer: Mark Meyuhas

Audio Engineer Assistant: Matt Miller

Executive Integrated Producer, Music, Talent, Public Works: Bill Meadows

Integrated Music Producer: Chip Herter