Creative agency/production house Augusto’s founder and director Michelle Walshe (Chasing Great, Short Poppies) and renowned director Alan Bibby (Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Coldplay) are the creative powerhouses behind the brand new video released today for ‘Kool’ from indie pop star BENEE.
A collaboration with Electronic Arts and Maxis, the studio behind the popular video game franchise The Sims, the campaign comes via creative agency, BRING, who worked closely with the Maxis development team to design her original Sim avatar, bringing BENEE to life as a character in The Sims. The video was brought to life by creative production partner Augusto and will launch the first single Kool from her debut album Hey U X, and is out now.
The music video sees the singer-songwriter, who previously ignited streaming platforms with more than 2 billion streams of her 2019 hit single Supalonely, ‘play with life’ in The Sims with her Sim-ified BENEE character. In addition, BENEE recorded Kool in Simlish for players of The Sims 4 to enjoy her music in-game. The Sims has become a pop culture phenomenon and has sold more than 200 million copies.
With borders closed between New Zealand and Australia, the creation of the video saw the team build an entire real world Sims replica using only props that mirrored what was available in game. Ensuring the real and virtual world were a seamless match, the team built the set and virtual world simultaneously to ensure they could accurately reflect each other as much as possible.
The Kool music video was created with both music and gaming fans in mind, and combines BENEE’s music with the quirkiness of the iconic life-simulation game. Crafted by Walshe and Bibby, the video showcases Stella inhabiting two worlds: one set in The Sims featuring BENEE embracing the role of a Sim and all of the comical nuances that go along with it; and another as herself in the real world controlling her Sims avatar.
Says Walshe: “Alan and I dreamed up a wild crazy fantasy of creating a real-world Sims environment and then won the job – so we had to pull it off in 3 weeks! Our producers were unbelievable. Didn’t blink an eyelid at the toughest job we’ve ever thrown them. The result exceeded my expectations and as far as I know it might be the first time in the world, a Sims environment has been created in real life.”
Says BENEE: “I wrote Kool about people out there that seem effortlessly cool. I’m nahtt like that! I’m a fan of The Sims and it’s been supa exciting working on this collaboration. I hope fans of the game and my listeners love the video.
Says Bibby: “I love working with such incredibly talented artists like BENEE – It was a real and effortless collaboration from start to finish – every single person involved brought amazing ideas and energy from the very first conversation we had about it, to the final piece.”
Says Craig Auld, director of marketing Asia Pacific, EA: “The Sims is deeply integrated into pop culture, and it’s amazing to see a rising star like BENEE embrace the game’s spirit for her music video. The music video embodies the game’s creative and whimsical nature, and we can’t wait to see how fans react to the video, as well as hearing Kool in Simlish.”
The campaign centres around the original Kool music video, with content rolling out through social and digital channels over the next month.
Alan Bibby is represented by Assembly.
Adam Ireland, General Manager, BRING
James Griffiths, Executive Creative Director, BRING
Brooke Pilton, Music Partnerships Director, BRING
Alexia Tomshin, Producer, BRING
Will Blackburn, Creative, BRING
Video Production: Augusto
Video Director: Alan Bibby & Michelle Walshe
Video Producer: Emily Russell & Brad Harvey
Video Editor: Kat Kasajima
Production Company: Augusto Ltd.
Craig Auld – Head of APAC Games Franchise
Liam McClure – Head of APAC Engagement
Wendy Loo – APAC Campaign Manager
Amanda Seah – JANZ Senior Engagement Manager
Dani O’Sullivan – JANZ Marketing & Communication Manager
Alex Kirk – ANZ Marketing & Communication Manager
Stephanie Leung – PR & Engagement Coordinator
Lachie Burdis – Marketing & Communication Coordinator