Uh, wow? We’ve known for months that Samsung was going full Space Jam in preparation for this year’s World Cup. But even their training session couldn’t properly prepare you for the intergalactic insanity of this marketing match-up.
The six-minute short film takes us, along with video game versions of guys like Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, and Cristian Ronaldo, into orbit to play a Predator-like race of aliens called the Hurakan in a high stakes game of soccer. The Earthlings have only their natural talents and Samsung wearables to combat this fierce opponent.
Created by agency Cheil Worldwide, production company Psyop and directors Todd Mueller and Laurent Ledru, it’s a visually stunning, if conceptually weird, campaign and film. It’s an ambitious combination of original narrative, product placement, event tie-in, video game and more. Some might roll their eyes, while others choose to set their suspension of disbelief to 11 and go along for the ride.
While the Galaxy 11 team uniforms look inspired by Tron, Mueller says the powerful (and completely naked?) Hurakan are loosely based on ancient Mayan culture. “Blood sports have been part of nearly every ancient culture on earth, so why not aliens who travel the stars looking for a good game?” says Mueller. “When we were developing the backstory we liked the idea that these aliens had been here before and that the Mayan culture were taught their ancient game by this same alien race. The mothership is a bit like an upside down orbiting Mayan temple.”
The aliens are stronger, have home field advantage and the referees are terrible. Sort of like how Cameroon might feel on June 23rd. But this is only the first half–Samsung will release the game’s conclusion, and the fate of the world, in the coming weeks.