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European Xbox advertising kicks off

Microsoft unveils a bizarre collection of magazine adverts, along with a truly outlandish website

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Ever wondered what the product of a 500-million-dollar advertising campaign would look like? Microsoft has the answer! The slogan for its new Xbox advertisements is simply "play more", dreamt up by Harvey Eagle and those working under Europe's Xbox's advertising manager. Four one-page adverts have been produced and can be found at C&VG online. In a short interview with Harvey Eagle, C&VG do pose the question, are you not just trying to out-weird The Third Place, Mr. Eagle? Far from it, he responded. Images of an ocean ray with what look like footholds, a hairy bar of soap, a stag with handlebars and a glass of false teeth with a straw and lemon are entirely symbolic. They embody the experience of using Xbox. The adverts may aim to shock and appal, but the minimalist website (shouldn't that be or something?) is even more of an enigma. The cryptic front page offers little explanation, although it does describe the site as "the online experience for Xbox". "Create your own artificial life form, release it into the pool and play," the site continues. Once created, my little slithery Mugwum line appeared, floating in a Flash animation. After a second or two I realised his direction corresponded to that of my cursor, and that I could make him do silly movements all over the screen. Amongst the various other creatures in the pool were some very big ones. Hovering over one, I discovered that it was named "Office Olympics". Office Olympics is a little minigame where you have to hit the left or right cursor key to stamp pieces of paper with "". Based on your proficiency with the stamper, the game gives you a rating. I was a "Loser". It's extremely weird to say the least! And green. There are also some green-squiggle-wallpapers to be found, as well as a screensaver. Like Nintendo, Microsoft has built its advertising campaign on an idea. Instead of "Gaming 24:7" though, Eagle says they "want to champion play". With green squiggles and deformed animals, no less. All I can say is, is this why we're paying two-hundred-and-ninety-nine-&*$%ing quid? Related Feature - Europe foots the bill for Microsoft

Okay, so it's arguably better-looking than Vib Ribbon

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