The U.S. Air Force has today announced a partnership with Microsoft to promote the Xbox LIVE “Horror Meets Comedy” original short film series that will premiere exclusively on Xbox LIVE this November 19th. In this cross-platform promotion, eight well-known horror directors — including James Wan & Leigh Whannel creators of the “Saw” franchise, James Gunn (“Slither”, “Dawn of the Dead”) Andrew Douglas (“The Amityville Horror”), David Slade (“30 Days of Night”) and Lucky McKee (“May”) — will bring their comedic visions to life through unique short films only available on Xbox LIVE.
In addition Xbox has today, in partnership with production company Safran Digital Group, confirmed two additional horror directors for the “Horror Meets Comedy” series. Emerging writer/directors Adam Green (“Hatchet”), and Peter Cornwell, (“The Haunting in Connecticut” due for release 2009 with Lionsgate) are onboard; Green will create a short film titled “Fairy Tale Police” which is a “Cops”-inspired reality show where two human police officers keep order in a land full of storybook villains, magical monsters, and other cartoonish characters. Cornwell will bring his comedic vision to life in “Post Apocalyptic Pizza” which highlights that after a nuclear disaster even the most basic pizza ingredients command extravagant prices and no job is more dangerous than the pizza deliveryman. Both shorts will be added to the “Horror Meets Comedy” series and will premiere this winter on Xbox LIVE.
As the sole sponsor of the series, Air Force will create custom intro billboards that will run with each pilot and interactive media placements that will live across the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network and the Xbox.com website. Users can click on these custom units and engage directly with the Air Force Brand Destination which offers users the opportunity to learn more about the Air Force through video downloads, gamer pictures and theme packages. GSD&M Idea City, the Air Force’s advertising agency orchestrated the sponsorship.
“Xbox LIVE is a top destination for gamers and provides a new and exclusive opportunity for the Air Force to engage with our target audience,” said Jim Askins, Air Force Recruiting Service account executive.
“The Xbox LIVE ‘Horror Meets Comedy’ premier allows the Air Force to customize and incorporate their brand messaging,” said Duff Stewart, COO and president of GSD&M Idea City. “It’s another example of how the Air Force has become a leader in integrated and innovative marketing.”
“We are very enthused about the launch of our first original series and to be partnering with the Air Force and these two additional talented directors just further reinforces this. Collaborating with the Air Force brings yet another unique aspect to this project, we feel they are a perfect sponsor for the Xbox audience,” added Scott Nocas, Group Product Manager for Xbox LIVE Video Programming & Original Content.
The “Horror Meets Comedy” series and promotion will run throughout in the 2008 holiday season with one short film debuting each week. The more than 14 million members of Xbox LIVE will be able to download the free shorts beginning November 19th with the launch of the New Xbox Experience. Viewers will ultimately vote for their favorite film with the winning film being developed into a series or movie that will be available exclusively to Xbox LIVE members. A sweepstakes will also be held for viewers to win Xbox 360 games and Zune merchandise with one grand prize winner getting the chance to meet their favorite “Horror Meets Comedy” director.
About GSD&M Idea City
GSD&M Idea City is a leading national marketing communications and advertising company that has helped grow some of the world’s most successful brands. For more information go to http://www.IdeaCity.com. GSD&M Idea City is part of Omnicom Group, Inc