I AM PLAYR has taken the prestigious gold trophy in the Branded Content and Entertainment category for ‘best use or integration of gaming’ at this year’s Cannes Lions Awards. The category is new this year, making We R Interactive the first company to be awarded the accolade.
Now in its 59th year the Cannes Lions Awards set the benchmark for excellence in creative advertising and communications globally. This year entries reached an all-time high, with more than 34, 000 entries from 87 countries, across 15 categories.
I AM PLAYR is the first ever online football game to let users play the life of a professional footballer. It fuses live action video, interactive story-telling and first-person perspective 3D game play where the storyline is dictated by the player's decisions and actions both on and off the pitch. We R Interactive's platform allows innovative brand integrations to flow seamlessly around the core narrative. As well as global brands, the game also features some of football’s biggest stars such as Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Aaron Lennon and Mark Noble, amongst others.
I AM PLAYR has grown a large global audience, with over 1 million players from across 210 countries spending over 50 minutes per day playing the game and heavily engaging with, and consuming, the innovative branded content the platform delivers.
This award recognises the creativity, innovation and success of I AM PLAYR in meeting Nike’s objectives of creating engagement with its core target audience reinforcing the brand’s commitment to football and positioning them as leaders in innovation whilst driving product awareness and sales, through its integration into the game.
Nike is woven seamlessly into the very core of I AM PLAYR and all the content revolving around life on the pitch - from interactive storylines such as visiting the Nike Academy, to Nike branded product appearing in all football related scenes and game play content such as pitch hoarding advertising. The entire Nike boots range is available in the I AM PLAYR virtual product store with boots giving the user different in-game attributes corresponding to the real world attributes of the boots.
To date the platform has delivered for Nike a staggering 5.5 million boot views, 5.5 million in-game Nike store visits, with 500, 000 pairs of Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII’s trialled and 400,000 pairs of boots purchased in-game; plus more than 68 years of Nike-branded video content viewed.
Award-winning social entertainment company Bigballs Films is the production partner on I AM PLAYR.
Paul Whitehead, Global Commercial Director, We R Interactive commented, “We’re delighted to share this award with Nike, who as a principle founding sponsor of I AM PLAYR shared our vision from the start for blending the best of film and games production to create a unique digital branded content platform where brands can credibly engage and communicate with their target audience by connecting with them on their own terms.
To be the honoured with a Gold Lion by the world’s most prestigious creative advertising and communications awards - traditionally the reserve of the advertising industry; in this new category recognising innovation and excellence in branded content and entertainment is particularly exciting.”