It's not easy to turn a regular guy who just wants a beer into a human Pac-Man, but Anheuser-Busch did just that in its Bud Light ad for Sunday's Super Bowl.
In this behind-the-scenes video, marketing directors from two companies that helped out -- Bandai Namco Games and Energy BBDO -- talk about the challenges in making a giant, glowing Pac-Man maze complete with ghosts come to life.
"Everything was done to the scale of the original maze," Jason Enos, marketing director at Bandai Namco Games, says in the video.
"On paper, Pac-Man is a very simple game to play, but to replicate all of the little things that happen in the game to a life-size scale, there's a lot of other production-related issues that have to be resolved," Enos adds. "For example, how do we do ghosts? Ghosts are supposed to be floating. So how do we really capture that fluidity as the ghosts are going through the maze? How do we capture their individual colors? The eyes are supposed to move as the ghosts move. How do we capture that?"
One solution revealed in the video is that the ghosts have roller skaters underneath the costumes.
Bud Light also brought in DJ White Shadow to remix the original Pac-Man music into a techno tune fit for a rave, beatboxer krNfx to create the sound effects for the game board, and Ultimate Fighting Championship announcer Bruce Buffer.
Because the commercial was shot with an average bar-goer named Riley -- not an actor, the company insists -- picked to run through the maze, the commercial crew only had one chance to shoot it in real time. The team had 40 cameras set up to capture everything from the moment Riley orders a beer to his scramble through the maze itself.
The result is Riley chaotically gathering pellets as he races through the maze with ghosts trying to corner him. While the maze was built specifically for the commercial, the more I watch it, the more I hope to see it pop up at geeky events. After all, who wouldn't want to be chased by Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde for the sake of a beer?