Whoa! Come slide with Donald Duck.
By swaying their arms the audience controls the actions of our beloved duck
December 8, 2011
It’s the hot thing in video games this Christmas: The player manipulates the on-screen avatar by moving his or her own body, rather than using the traditional joy stick. Move to the right and the avatar moves to the right, move to the left and so does the avatar.
It’s a very cool idea, and now it’s being used in movie theaters, too.
A new ad airing at a handful of theaters across the country allows the audience to collectively control the action in an on-screen game by moving their raised arms.
The ad, for Disney Cruise Line, features Donald Duck riding down a new waterslide. The action is shown from Donald’s perspective, so that the audience feels like they are riding along.
By moving their arms to either side, the audience controls Donald’s trajectory down the slide.
The object is to have Donald collect small rubber ducks that pop up on either side of the slide. When the audience leans their arms to the left, for example, Donald’s body moves up on the left side of the slide, and he collects the duck icon.
The ad began playing earlier this month at 22 theaters across the country, including ones in Dallas, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Called AudienceGameTM, the ad is a collaboration between NCM Media Networks and technology company Audience Entertainment Group.
It uses group motion capture to link the actions of the people in the theater to the action on screen.
The ad, which lasts 90 seconds, airs only once per movie, right before the coming attractions trailers begin.
It starts by introducing the Disney Dream, Disney’s new cruise ship, and the AquaDuck, the ship’s four-deck waterslide.
“You’re going to experience AquaDuck with Donald Duck right now, right from your seat,” says the ad’s announcer. “And you’re in control.”
The announcer then explains the very simple rules: raise your arms and lean from side to side to make the duck move.
The audience “rides” the slide for about 40 seconds.
The stunt works because it’s such a unique idea. Even though so-called human joysticks have been available for games for more than a year, they’re expensive and most people have yet to experience the cool technology.
This ad allows an entire group to experience the idea, while also capturing their attention with the game format.
And of course it’s a cool departure from the usual ads folks are subjected to in movie theaters as they await the main feature.
Audiences have been enthusiastic. They yell out when they capture a duck, and a surprising number actually participate in the game.
Though right now the campaign is limited in scope, NCM and Audience Entertainment are eyeing rollouts in more cities.
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