Press release: 1999-08-24: Sega Taps PDI, Creators of Award-Winning Feature Film Antz, to Develop Sega Dreamcast Television ADS

From Sega Retro

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Language: English
Original source: The Free Library


Feature Film Quality Animated Spots Created

Using Actual Sega Dreamcast Hardware

Sega(R) of America today revealed the launch advertising campaign for the much-anticipated launch of Sega Dreamcast(TM), the superconsole with a built-in 56K modem that will bring the most-advanced and realistic video gameplay ever developed to consumers at its retail launch on September 9, 1999. The campaign was created by Pacific Data Images, the creators of the award-winning animated feature film, Antz, under the direction of Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco. Utilizing models and assets straight from the Sega Dreamcast hardware and software, the spots feature Sega's beloved mascot Sonic the Hedgehog(TM), more than forty 1st and 3rd party game characters and live-action and animated appearances by a range of NFL and NBA stars including Gary Payton, Penny Hardaway, Brian Grant, Allen Iverson and Randy Moss.

Part of a $100 million launch marketing blitz, the campaign will break on August 30 and will air on more than nine networks. Sega collaborated with PDI to create two-square-miles of fully animated 3-D environments that are the backdrop for each of the five executions, which feature live-action integration of digital game characters and NBA and NFL stars.

"Sega Dreamcast completely immerses players in a world that looks and feels so authentic, it blurs the lines between reality and game play and we wanted to replicate that breakthrough experience in our television advertising," said Peter Moore, senior vice president, Sega of America. "No other videogame console could take this bold approach because never before has there been a system with the technical capability to produce graphics of such a quality that they could be the focus of an entire 60-second broadcast spot."

"These spots are a true testament to the awesome quality of the Sega Dreamcast system -- what viewers see in these television ads is what they'll see when playing Sega Dreamcast," continued Moore.

Titled "In the Box," the series is the final phase of broadcast advertising for the Sega Dreamcast launch following a trio of 15-second teaser spots and the action-packed 60-second mini-movie "Apocalypse," which began airing nationwide as part of a teaser campaign earlier this summer. "In the Box" continues Sega's positioning of the "It's Thinking" tag line which refers to the technology engine inside Sega Dreamcast that can respond to and outsmart its human opponents. Each of the "In The Box" ads take viewers into the Sega Dreamcast world where characters from games live when they are not playing against their human opponents. In the humorous spots, viewers see Sega Dreamcast game characters work out, eat dinner, attend rave parties and advise one another on how to beat their human competition. Spots include:

-- "Opening Day:" Introduces the immense living and conspiring world inside the Sega Dreamcast console and features more than 40 game characters including an animated Brian Grant of the Portland Trailblazers.

-- "Old Days:" Jim McMahon, former quarterback of the Chicago Bears, rants to Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings about what a privilege it is to be part of the Sega Dreamcast system versus when he appeared in Sega Genesis(TM) games in the `80s. In the background, more than 10 digital game characters and NFL stars are interacting at a Sega Dreamcast cantina.

-- "Daydream:" Gary Payton of the Seattle Supersonics raps with Taka, a character from the well-known "Virtua Fighter"(TM) series and features Sonic the Hedgehog as a DJ mixing for more than 40 other characters on the dance floor.

-- "Sumo:" Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers seeks basketball playing advice from Taka of "Virtua Fighter3tb"(TM) and then applies it to his posting technique in "NBA 2K," a Sega Dreamcast basketball game, against "live" Penny Hardaway of the Orlando Magic, Juwan Howard of the Washington Wizards and Brian Grant of the Portland Trailblazers.

-- "Drive In:" Jamal Anderson of the Atlanta Falcons interacts with more than 20 characters watching a movie of Sega Dreamcast game footage.

The spots will rotate on nine different cable networks including MTV, FOX, WB, UPN, ESPN, USA, World Wrestling Federation/20th Century/Columbia syndication, ZDTV and The Box. On August 30, "Opening Day" will air. "Old Days" and "Daydream" will air during the MTV Video Music Awards on September 9th, along with a new 90-second version of "Apocalypse." "Opening Day" will also be available for download as of August 30th on

About Sega Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast will be available in the US at a suggested retail price of $199, with the built in 56K modem. The system will have 16 titles available at launch, with the number growing to 30 by the end of the year. Third-party titles now in the works will bring the total Sega Dreamcast game library count to more than 100 in the year 2000.

Along with its low price point, Sega Dreamcast will achieve other industry firsts at launch. Its advanced 128-bit architecture makes it the first console with evolutionary capabilities, allowing it to grow and change to match advances in technology and the needs and desires of the consumer. Sega Sega Dreamcast is also the most powerful video game console ever created. It is 15 times more powerful than a Sony PlayStation(TM), ten times more powerful than a Nintendo 64 and has four times the graphics processing power of the fastest Pentium II processor. In addition, Sega Dreamcast is the first console to utilize hand-held gaming through its Visual Memory Unit (VMU), a 128K card that acts as a personalized memory device for strategic and portable game play, allowing players to swap games with friends in the home, arcade or head-to-head using two VMUs. Additionally, the Sega Dreamcast Network will allow gamers to download saved games with the VMU.

Sega Dreamcast provides console gamers with another first -- an online gaming network where consumers pop in a CD, click on a button and are instantly immersed in a highly interactive gaming environment with thousands of other gamers nationwide. This gaming portal will feature in-depth gaming news, reviews and insider information and gamers will receive regular updates via e-mail detailing games, hints, cheats and information and the ability to demo games and experience force feedback through the Sega Rumblepack. The Network will offer access to chat rooms to discuss games, bulletin boards, e-mail, e-commerce capability, online multiplayer games and even "mini" board, puzzle and card games. Through chat and e-mail, consumers will be able to communicate with fellow gamers across the street or around the world, effectively creating the world's largest gaming community. Along with 24-hour customer care, gamers will also be able to communicate in real-time with Sega executives, developers and technicians.

About FCB

Founded in 1873, Foote, Cone and Belding is the world's third-oldest advertising agency. FCB is today one of the leading global agency networks, with $5.9 billion in billings. FCB is also a top-five agency in the U.S., with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County. FCB is owned by True North Communications (listed on the NYSE). As part of the True North family, FCB is affiliated with approximately 35 specialized communications companies.

About PDI

PDI is an award-winning producer of high-end animation and visual effects for the feature film, commercial and entertainment industries. It is the chief supplier of computer-generated feature animation for DreamWorks SKG under an exclusive co-production agreement. PDI is currently in production on the second and third feature films, SHREK and TUSKER. In 1998, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized PDI with a Technical Achievement Award for the concept and architecture of the studio's proprietary animation system. Established in 1980, PDI is located in Northern California and employs nearly 350 people. For more information, visit PDI online at

About Sega

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $2.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at

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