Advertising agency barrettSF has created a multimedia marketing campaign starring WWE Superstar “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey to launch the latest installment in the WWE 2K video game franchise. WWE 2K19 releases October 9 for the PlayStation4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices, including the Xbox One X and Windows PC. Consumers who pre-order the game at participating retailers will receive Early Access to a playable Rousey character and additional in-game bonuses beginning October 5.
In the 1:15 ad, Ronda Rousey walks into a locker room and hangs the iconic leather jacket of her idol and namesake, WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. As she stares at the jacket, she begins to recall a conversation she and Piper had several years earlier. “The only thing I want for you is for you to be as successful as you want to be and as happy as you possibly can,” Piper says. “You’re going to give so many people hope.”
The voiceover was taken from a 2015 Piper’s Pit podcast conducted shortly before Piper’s untimely death later that year. In the audio clip, Piper explains to Rousey why he was passing the torch of the “Rowdy” name to her.
As Piper delivers his words of encouragement, an intense-looking Rousey dons the jacket and walks off, ready to face her opponent in the ring. A super then announces that viewers who pre-order WWE 2K19 can “play as Ronda Rousey.”
The jacket was given to Rousey by the Piper family prior to her WWE debut earlier this year, and they continue supporting her as she embarks on her new career. “Roddy saw the potential in Ronda and knew she would continue to inspire! Her grit and determination shine in the WWE 2K19 trailer,” said Kitty Toombs, widow of the late WWE Hall of Famer.
The ad broke on WWE’s Monday Night Raw telecast earlier this week and will air nationally on WWE programming, along with social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The ad will also run as pre-roll video on WWE and through placements on Google’s True View ad platform. A second WWE 2K19 ad, which debuted in June, starred former WWE Champion Rey Mysterio. Both spots are pieces of the global “Never Say Never” marketing campaign for the video game, with final elements currently scheduled to launch this Fall.
“Ronda Rousey always dreamed of competing in WWE, just like the late, great Roddy Piper,” said Todd Eisner, creative director at barrettSF. “And for WWE fans, it’s always been a dream to compete as Ronda Rousey. With WWE 2K19, they can finally make their fantasy scenario a reality.”
barrettSF began its relationship with 2K for the launch of WWE 2K15 in 2014, making this their fifth year of campaign partnership.
Advertising Agency: barrettSF, San Francisco, CA (USA)
Executive Creative Director - Jamie Barrett
Creative Director - Todd Eisner
Associate Creative Directors - Jen Hart, Meredith Karr
Head of Production - Conor Duignan
Producer - Tom Sann
Managing Director, Founder: Patrick Kelly
Account Director: William de Ryk
Account Supervisor: Julia Ortinez-Hansen
Production Company - Golden
Directors - Wolfbergs and Jake Banks
Creative Director - Jake Banks
Editor - Volkert Besseling
Colorist - Luis Silva
VFX / Animation - Luke Yoo and Rachel Arnold
Executive Producer - Matthew Marquis
Line Producer - Rick Brown
Post Producer - Kevin Gallagher
Client - 2K:
VP of Marketing: Chris Snyder
Director, Brand Marketing: Bryce Yang
Senior Brand Manager: Greg Zale
Associate Product Manager: Ramon Aranda
Associate Brand Manager: Robert Hearon
Marketing Coordinator: Mitchell Jagodinski