Of Course Idris Elba Remains Totally Calm In This Explosive New Rainbow Six Siege Ad

Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six franchise returns after a five-year hiatus with the coolest dude around.

For all his massive popularity, we don’t see Idris Elba cross into the realm of advertising very often. A voice-over here, a directing stint there. But now the actor appears in all his Lutherian glory to celebrate the first installment in five years of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six franchise.


Rainbow Six Siege, which launches on December 1st, continues the line of games that began with 1998’s Rainbow Six. In the new ad, created by agency Omelet, Elba is casually handing out pro tips as idle banter in the midst of an insanely violent home invasion. As explosions surround him, he even takes some time to tickle the bullet-riddled ivories before asking, “Are you ready to siege the day?”

Directed by Seb Edwards, the spot was also edited by two-time Academy Award-winning film editor Angus Wall. Omelet creative director Josh Smutko says that Ubisoft wanted the ad to plant a flag and show that Rainbow Six Siege is a whole new shooter experience. “There were tons of consumer insights from Ubi and from testing, but the biggest takeaway in regards to the spot was ‘show the game.’” says Smutko. “Siege truly is different, so we leaned heavily on those differences to make a spot no one else could make. We wanted to show what it’s really like to play this game and let the viewer feel the intensity of the close-quarters combat. Basically you’re in a face-to-face shoot-out in someone’s kitchen and that’s something that really resonated with players.”

Fellow Omelet creative director Raul Montes says Elba was always their top choice to star, and they felt lucky as all hell to land him. “To show how much fun [the game] is, we created this kind of demigod in our Narrator, a guy who revels in the siege and waxes poetic about the glory to be found there,” says Montes. “We needed someone with the gravitas to sell that message, and that’s where Idris Elba came in. Everyone felt that he was one of the few personas that had the power to stand out from the insane action unfolding around him.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.