Acronym / Asus ROG

CREATIVE DIRECTION / MOTION DESIGN > VIRAL CAMPAIGN + ALTERNATE REALITY GAME
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THE MACHINE

I was Creative Director for the viral launch campaign of an exciting collab between two giants - computer manufacturer Asus / Republic Of Gamers and acclaimed fashion design studio ACRONYM.  This wicked new laptop is called the REALITY MODELLING TOOL aka the RMT01. 

This multi-faceted project is the brainchild of Creative Director Rod Chong and Acronym co-founder Errolson Hugh who supervised all creative aspects of the project.

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The RMT01's front cover features an innovative LED array. It was a blast creating custom animations for it that used its hot pink glow and limited resolution to great effect. 

From the outset, the RMT 01 was tailored to inspire the creative mind. Famed graphic designer David Rudnik enveloped this powerful machine in a beautiful and distinctive graphic language. 

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The machine's unique keyboard layout is designed to make users aware of their interaction with technology every time they use it. To make them aware that every key stroke has an impact on what happens next.

It was decided that the RMT01's signature logo (the Cascade) should be the very first visual seen every time the machine is turned on. This meant embedding it into the BIOS. I animated the design at 10 fps as per technical requirements. Sound by Daniel B of Nothing But Noise.

The two vertical lines in Rudnik's design represent the user and their machine. The lines between them symbolize how they interact, affect each other and ultimately how changing one ultimately changes the other.

I loved giving motion to the RMT01's icons. Priority was given to simplicity, staying true to the purity of the original designs.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN + ALTERNATE REALITY GAME

The social media campaign took a bold new approach and ran parallel to the official Asus campaign. It combined cryptic videos written by Spencer Canon with an alternate reality game (ARG) mostly written by Rod Chong and Ed Palumbo.  These initiatives were hosted by DFE, a fictional Artificial Intelligence that took on the image of Acronym founder Errolson Hugh.

DFE 0002 [:47]

Without any explanation, mysterious videos of DFE (digital Errolson Hugh) started to appear on his Instagram

 

DFE's motivations were unclear at first. But he seemed determined continually hack into Hugh's real-life Instagram account to post non-sensical videos. Watchful followers soon suspected they were in the middle of a secret ARG (augmented reality game). 

DFE 0005 [:58]

Our A.I. character evolved with every video. In this piece he just discovered the power of music. 

 

The online community scrutinized every aspect of each new video for possible clues and secret codes. Here, the changing background colors form the puzzle. Surprisingly, it was solved within just a couple of days, unlocking a new level of the game.

DFE 0007 [:52]

As he continues to evolve on Instagram, DFE theorizes on reality and one's ability to transform it. 

 

We wanted some aspects of DFE to be generated by a real A.I. A GAN replicated Errolson Hugh's voice. It was trained using existing interviews and special audio clips. Some of my favorite outputs were glitchy and I chose them to highlight the concept of a nascent AI being. 

NOTE: One of the most important clues in the game is hidden in this video: the secret URL serving as the gateway to the game's prize. Can you find it? 

DFE 0009 [:50]

In this video DFE indicates that unreleased RMT devices are missing from the factory. This signaled the passage to the final stage of the game and the giveaway.

 

I worked with regular collaborators Jaime TorresDr. Reel and Charlie DiLiberto to create the DFE visuals.

The ARG eventually revealed a specific time and geolocation in-real-life. They corresponded to a secret drop off point for a pre-launch RMT 01 unit.  The drop was shared on Instagram Live. 

Actual footage of an associate heading to an undisclosed drop point in Los Angeles to deliver a RMT01 to one of the ARG winners.

Below is an example of a visual puzzle I designed and animated for the game. It is made of 25 looped video tiles the players had to discover online. Placed in the correct order and timed properly, they reveal their hidden message, one of the keys of the ARG. 

 

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Keys were entered on this website to unlock new levels of the ARG >   010100100100110101010100

AN ONGOING EXPERIENCE

Owners of the RMT01 received exclusive digital art directly to their machine. This inspirational work was curated by Acronym and developed by some of today's top creators and thinkers. You can see it online at Sky Any Colour

INTO BROKEN EYES [2] [3:15]

This is an impressionistic short film developed with Acronym for the RMT01. I wanted to give it a dreamlike quality and have a real machine as a narrator.

All media for the launch of the RMT01 was produced by Michaela Eichenbaum for Los Angeles agency Race Service.