I was Creative Director for the viral launch campaign for the first exciting collab between computer manufacturer Asus / Republic Of Gamers and acclaimed fashion design studio ACRONYM. This powerful laptop is called the REALITY MODELLING TOOL aka the RMT01.
The RMT01's front cover features an innovative LED array. It was a blast for me to create a series of custom animations for its hot pink, low res cover display.
From the outset, the RMT 01 was tailored to inspire the creative mind. Famed graphic designer David Rudnik enveloped its black plastic body in a beautiful and distinctive graphic language.
The machine's unique keyboard layout is designed to make users mindful of their interaction with technology every time they use it.
It was decided that the RMT01's signature logo animation (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 the design symbolize the user and their machine. The lines between them symbolize how they affect each other and how, ultimately, changing one changes the other.
I also animated the RMT01's icon family. Priority was given to simplicity and purpose, staying true to the machine's philosophy.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN + ALTERNATE REALITY GAME
The social media campaign, written by Spencer Canon, took a bold new approach and ran parallel to the official Asus campaign as an underground ARG (Alternate Reality Game) in which players had to decypher cryptic videos. These mysterious clue laced pieces of media were hosted by DFE, a fictional AI that took on the image of Acronym founder Errolson Hugh.
DFE 0002 [:47]
Without any explanation, mysterious videos of DFE started to appear on Errolson Hugh's Instagram.
The AI's motivations were unclear at first. But he seemed determined continually hack into Hugh's Instagram account, posting non-sensical content. Watchful followers soon realized these were part of a secret ARG (alternate reality game).
DFE 0005 [:58]
Our AI character evolved with every video, like a newly born entity maturing at the speed of tech. In this piece he just discovered the power of music.
The online community scrutinized every aspect of each new video for clues and secret codes. Here, the changing background colors form the puzzle. Amazingly, it was solved within just a couple of days, and unlocked a new level of the game.
DFE 0007 [:52]
As he continued to evolve on Instagram, DFE theorized on reality and one's ability to transform it.
We wanted some aspects of DFE to be generated by a real AI GAN. So we re-created Errolson Hugh voice using early voice cloning technology. Some of my favorite outputs from the system were glitchy and I kept them to highlight the concept of a nascent AI.
NOTE: One of the most important clues in the game is hidden in this video: a secret URL. Can you find it?
DFE 0009 [:50]
In this video DFE warns that some RMT laptops are missing from the factory. Thus began the final stage of the game and the giveaway of those laptops to players.
Thanks to collaborators Jaime Torres, Dr. Reel and Charlie DiLiberto for bringing DFE to life.
The ARG eventually revealed a specific time and geolocation IRL. They corresponded to a drop off point for a pre-launch RMT 01 laptop. The drop happened on Instagram Live.
Actual footage of an associate heading to a drop point in Los Angeles to deliver a RMT01 laptop to one of the 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.
INTO BROKEN EYES  [3:15]
I designed and directed this short piece as a moody trailer for the release of the RMT01 laptop. One of the mandates was to tonaly remain match the mysterious ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that had just ended. Partcle effects by Ruben Fro.