Leo Takes Game Boy to Church

Leo Burnett offers the latest incarnation of Nintendo’s Game Boy as a ready escape hatch from life’s more boring moments.

The agency’s $75 million campaign behind the Game Boy Advance breaks this week with a TV spot set in a church. Subsequent spots will be set in locations also known to cause boredom or anxiety, including an airport and a doctor’s waiting room, said John Brokenbrough, creative director and copywriter for the campaign.

“The Game Boy [Advance] becomes your portable escape hatch,” Brokenbrough said. “It allows the player to escape any boring, mundane spot.”

“Sunday Advance,” the first spot in the campaign, actually opens in what appears to be a jungle filled with warriors fighting with flaming arrows. The camera backs out to show the singed hair of an elderly woman sitting in a pew in front of the boy playing the game. A series of bizarre images related to various games in the series follows—pro wrestlers singing, an octopus in the collection plate, a snowboarder soaring over the congregation.

Game Boy Advance claims better graphics and resolution, but the technology is not highlighted in the spot. “We didn’t feel we needed to accentuate that; we dwell more on the fantasy of it,” Brokenbrough said.

Follow-up spots will concentrate on specific games and use variations of the “Life advanced” tag. All the work is meant to build anticipation for the Game Boy Advance, which won’t be in stores until June.