Produced by multidisciplinary studio Golden LA in partnership with TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, the new film “Start Your Engines” delivers the first taste of the epic ride gamers will experience with Mario Kart Tour on Google Play.
For director Saman Kesh, whose storytelling DNA has been shaped by technology and video games, celebrating the great union of Google and Nintendo was a dream come true. There are few games that span generations and bring out the nostalgia within all of us, but the memories of Mario Kart, its iconic Rainbow Road raceway, and spirited characters does just that – with the campaign garnering attention in major trades including Adweek, Shots and MUSE by Clio.
Says Kesh: “For this spot, I wanted to achieve maximum chaos with maximum fun. The goal was to unlock the childlike energy in everyone, not just the kids. Keeping things exciting with an action-packed ‘phone chase’ was the best way to conjure the good times of such a legacy franchise as Mario Kart. And now, people have a chance to put down their busy lives for a bit and go ‘bananas’ with Mario Kart on their phones.”
A fun and fast-paced romp that invites the world to relive the excitement of the race and Play On, “Start Your Engines” is a visual scavenger hunt filled with hints and clues from the iconic game franchise. Look closely and you may recognize a few familiar sights from banana peel spinouts to Peach Preparatory, only the true Mario Kart fans can spot all nine clues throughout.
VFX were handled by JAMM, who completed animation tests prior to the shoot in order to develop how the phones would move throughout the scenes. Animation approaches varied depending on the sequence at hand, to ensure the phones matched the frenetic energy of the go-karts as they moved through each environment. For instance, the team utilized rigs on set to convey the friction of the Google mobile as it raced across the coffee shop countertop. At JAMM HQ, the team recreated the CG smartphones and completed look-dev on the phone cases, as each one represented a specific character: Donkey Kong, Peach, Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Mario and Bowser.
Another seamless creative collaboration with the TBWA\Chiat\Day LA team, “Start Your Engines” transforms the everyday world into the Mario Kart racetrack, conjuring the infectiously playful spirit of the classic game franchise for its highly anticipated mobile debut.