Was it Professor Plum in the hall with the wrench, or Mrs. Peacock in the conservator with the rope, or Mr. Green with the knife in the lounge?
These three faux magazine advertisements were created for a class assignment in Advanced Graphic Design. The assignment was to chose one of a selection of real-world companies and organizations (ranging from Mattel to the Green Party to Trojan Condoms) and create an advertising campaign for it. Each company or organization had different challenges and requirements.
I chose Parker Brothers. I needed to "reintroduce family board games to a generation of children raised on video games." Three separate ads were required, and had to be designed to fit with typical magazine standards. The ads had to be different but maintain visual continuity because they were a part of the same "advertising campaign."
The board game Clue (Cluedo in the UK) was a favorite of mine as child, and so I decided to focus on it instead of featuring a different board game in each ad. The wide selection of interesting characters and locations allowed for plenty of flexibility and visual creativity for each ad.
Because my goal was to target children and teens who play video games, I chose to emulate the style of current popular video games. I researched the graphical style and box art of several video games, including games aimed at younger audiences (such as Little Big World) and older audiences (Call of Duty, Left 4 Dead). Because of the crime, foul-play and sleuthing themes in Clue, I also sought visual inspiration from crime and forensic dramas like CSI and Law and Order, and well as classic film noir.
While coming up with designs, it was difficult to maintain a balance between a newer, darker and grittier Clue while still maintaining the family-friendly ideals of the original game. I knew going too gory or macabre would alienate potential customers, while tamer imagery would not interest the target audience of the ad campaign.
Eventually I was able to find a happy medium. I decided to go the photorealistic (but cinematically exaggerated) route instead of relying on stylized illustrations. I was allowed to use stock images for the project, which I took advantage of heavily. Every element of the three ads is either stock footage or created from scratch in Photoshop. Limitations in character and background availability and posing dictated which Clue character, room and weapon were featured. The Hall, Conservatory and Lounge were chosen solely because of the suitability of images that appeared thematically similar to the original rooms from the game. The same goes for the three characters.
By virtue of the limited range of free model stock images, my three Clue characters Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock and Mr. Green turned out to be "younger and sexier" compared to their typical incarnations. To maintain some form of nostalgia and reinforce recognition, I decided to color the character's costumes to match their classic counterparts. I also opted to include the iconic question of "Was it [character] in the [room] with the [weapon]?" to appeal to those already familiar with the game.
Ultimately I am very pleased with how these three ads came out.
These advertisements were created for a class project and are not sponsored by Parker Brothers or Mattel. Clue, the Clue logo and the Clue characters are the property of Parker Brothers and Mattel.