HELLO HERO is the flagship mobile RPG from South Korean developer Fincon. I was the Creative Director that led the pitch team and subsequently on the entire 360 North American launch campaign.
The game is immensely popular in South Korea and needed to launch in North America with a bang. We started with a re-branding exercise. We felt the original game logo didn’t have the sense of adventure that a North American audience would be looking for in a mobile RPG.
I worked closely with my Art Director and design team to make sure we were creating something that would differentiate HELLO HERO from other mobile RPG’s when it launched.
While we were re-working the branding, I was also working closely with the account team to create a never before done for a social game, live action broadcast commercial. We went to the client with a big idea, one that seemed impossible with our budget constraints.
We pitched them on a live-action commercial with fully CG’d versions of their characters. They loved the idea and gave us the green light. We were already working on a restricted timeline and jumped right in.
We had our concept, and pre-visualization had to start before we found our director.
We knew we needed to make a splash, so after we had our concept down, we looked for a director that would bring a sense of comedy that would align with the campiness of the gameplay. Days before it aired on Sci-Fi Network, we hired the director of SHARKANDO to bring our commercial to life. Anthony C. Ferrante came in with his production team and worked alongside myself and my creative team to make this concept a reality, not to mention the earned media press we got on the heels of SHARKANDO’s massive pop culture success at the directorial hands of Anthony C. Ferrante.
This spot won Best Broadcast Commercial For A Mobile Game from the Video Game Marketing Awards.
My team and I also created other video content pieces for online marketing placement. These non-broadcast commercials highlighted different aspects of the gameplay.
As part of the North American launch, we were asked by Fincon to create 50 westernized characters to incorporate into the game.
I rallied my team and we came with 65 uniquely off the wall characters that played well with the fun and quirky original HELLO HERO line up.
Once we had our character concepts flushed out on paper, we brought in animation character designer Mark McDonnell for the visualizations and I did all the final color design. As you can see above, we were able to capture the spirit of the gameplay and create characters that were able to join the fight right alongside the original Hello Heroes.
Leading up to and at launch, we did several activations, including a booth at PAX Prime and had a big presence at New York Comic-Con. We commissioned a few top cosplayers to build out costumes based on some the game’s key characters so that we could get pics shared on social media platforms. The New York Comic-Con activation included a large cosplay event and party. The party generated huge buzz online and elevated the social awareness overnight. Hello Hero launched in the top 10 in the app store in its the first week.
Below is a full BTS piece that goes into further detail about the creation of the game’s marketing campaign.
- Alan Hellard – Creative Director/Writer
- Mitch Powers – Brand Strategist
- Virva Aryan – Marketing Cordinator
- Jonathon Clark – Producer/Writer
- Hideo Igawa – Art Director
- Steve Kim – Art Director
- Marios Kourasis – VFX Lead
- Daniel Oberhansley – 3D Animation