New Orange Box Commercial

By John Walker on October 22nd, 2007 at 11:19 pm.

A very strange trailer for The Orange Box has appeared on HalfLife2.net. It looks like this:

It’s an odd beast. According to HalfLife2.net it was sent to them by Valve, and it’s clearly made with a wedge of money. But it doesn’t really seem to say or do anything. What’s the message? The Orange Box is from outerspace? It will break your property? Presumably, “It’s here” is the message we’re supposed to take. But since it contains five of the best PC games there are, maybe that should be the focus of its promotion? Who knows.

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32 Comments »

  1. Waltermelon says:

    sweet jebus that’s one hell of a commercial. I’m … i’m … i’m speechless…

  2. Tom says:

    Bizarre. And almost certainly not the best use of money. And, to cap it off… it highlights just how lousy the box art is for the game. I really liked the original, presumably mocked-up, Helvetica-y cover.

  3. Bozzley says:

    The Orange Box – get out of it’s way, IT WILL KILL YOU.

  4. drunkymonkey says:

    That was rubbish. Like you say, John, the games should be the focus of the adverts, not some unrelated CGI.

  5. Kast says:

    The 7 hour war would have been nice

  6. JakethePirate says:

    Is it just me or did the boxes on the meteor look suspiciously like the supply crates in Half Life 2 et al.

    Perhaps the next batch of Orange Boxes will ship with AR2s? (I prefer the AR3 myself, but it’d be nice)

  7. Masked Dave says:

    Games footage always looks shit in TV ads. I’ve got to say, I can’t see how they could successfully sell all 5 games in a single advert, to people who’ve never heard of them before, without failing miserably.

    This at least could make people go ‘huh, that was kinda cool, but what was it?’ and go look it up on Google and for people who *do* know what it is they can feel all smug and go WOO! Orange Box!

  8. Joe says:

    The packaging is crappy – as the first full price game I’ve bought in years, I hoped it would have a nice box. It kind of looks like a budget collection from back in the day… Codemasters presents! The Half-life Collection! 97% Metacrash Smash!

  9. Chris says:

    Uh, what. What? What the hell was that? What? WHAT?

    Oh yeah, we’ve got a ton of absolutely amazing games in one box, at an extremely low price, with the most incredible art design and best character animation and highest reviews EVER, so what are we going to put in the ad? A dumb giant stupid rock from space that has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. I hope Valve fucking fired whatever ad agency came up with that.

    I could make a better ad. In fact, I WILL make a better ad. In fact I am GOING TO start making a better ad RIGHT NOW because I am ANGRY at ADVERTISING. GRRR!

  10. Wes says:

    I suspect their advertising campaign is the anti-campaign…design the worst box in human history and get sites like this one talking about it…design a superman-kyptonite- armageddon-wtf-does-this-have-anything-to-do-with-Valve commercial to get people asking…WTF WAS THAT?!?!?!

    It’s the only plausible explaination.

  11. The_B says:

    Was this probably by Valve’s PR team, or EA? I mean, it does seem very EAish, and they are the retail publisher so…

  12. Schmidt says:

    I ruined a perfectly awesome chase sequence with quicksave-abuse to get him into space, so the least they could do is put the stupid garden gnome on the meteorite.

  13. Zell says:

    Well, to be practical, Valve’s reputation for quality is so stellar that there’s less and less point in them spending money telling you lot what you already know. Why wouldn’t they go for a new crowd with different needs? The Halo 3 launch was hyped into a global, epic event. An asteroid impacting on earth is a global, epic event. It’s not hard to see what they’re trying to do.

  14. SirNuke says:

    If the goal of this was to get a lot people talking about it, then mission accomplished.

    Otherwise, what was that?

  15. Al says:

    It reminds me of a Playstation 2 or 3 advert: Stylish, but with hee-haw all to do with reality or the product. If the goal of the advert is to get Joe Public interested, I’m not sure it’ll work.

    Unlike running, say, a complete series of “Meet the” adverts.

  16. Evo says:

    When I first saw this in the staff section I thought it was one of the guys messing round and posting some crazy no Half-Life related vid…..then I saw the end….

    Must say it is an odd one, but it will get peoples attention I guess.

  17. Inflatable Moron says:

    The Other advert is pretty good, features Glados reading out praise for each of the components while footage plays. I think it also includes a quote from Friend of RPS Tom Francis.

  18. roBurky says:

    If they’ve got the money to do multiple adverts, they really should just do one for each game. If they stuck that portal trailer, the meet the heavy video and I dunno, some half-life thing, on to the telly, they’d win.

  19. Jonty says:

    I bet this is somebody from EA going to a proper advertising agency and saying “this is a really good product that all the gamers are going to buy, we need you to sell it to the mass market.” And the squad of neatly-bearded men and overly-made-up women watched the game videos, didn’t have the faintest idea what the hell was going on, and decided that “general awesomeness” was the only thing they could convey. YAY MARKETING.

    Bigger question, though: how do you sell it to people predisposed to dislike games?

  20. John Walker says:

    Tell them it’s a box full of delicious nutritious oranges.

  21. Bozzley says:

    “Do you like Jaffa Cakes? You do? Then why not try The Orange Box? Five portions of citrusy goodness in one box, with added Jaffa Cakeyness too!*

    * Not actual game footage. The cake is a lie.”

  22. teamonkey says:

    Are we sure it’s from Valve? It looks like a fan-made vid to me. Besides, there’s no logos from Valve, EA, Microsoft or Sony, which pretty much rules out it being official.

    And it’s rubbish.

  23. Ryan Williams says:

    Yeah, fan CGI is the first thing I thought of.

  24. JP says:

    I hate this kind of ad. The Halo3 campaign had exactly the same problem: pointing only obliquely (if at all) to things about the actual game, you know the product that you’re trying to get people interested in, and just jacking off all over themselves with how awesomely important and hype-generating they can be. While saying absolutely nothing.

    It’s very dull and poorly paced as a piece of storytelling too. Yep, asteroid in space. Got it. Moving incredibly slowly for most of the piece. Got it.

    Wake up people, games aren’t so culturally important yet that they can do this (and arguably shouldn’t even then) and if you believe otherwise you’re probably living inside the echo chamber.

  25. Andrew Mayer says:

    I’m with the “This ain’t real” crowd.

  26. KindredPhantom says:

    Eh? That advert shows absolutely nothing of any of the games, what is the point.

  27. Arathain says:

    I think it demonstrates clearly that crates are from space, and thus evil. They have infested our games so we get used to the sight of them, to make their conquest that much easier.

  28. Evo says:

    Guys – http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=133194

    Glenn says that Samon got this from Valve, and being on the team I am inclined to believe it is 100% true.

    Probably EA made though :O

  29. Evo says:

    Damn if only I could edit! D:

    Munners the site boss says this – It’s not meant to be a real advertisement it’s just something Valve have been playing around with.

    :O

  30. Samon says:

    It’s real; Doug Lombardi hooked it onto an email he sent me. That said, I’ve heard people have been seeing it on TV so I’m not sure whether it’s just something Valve “Have been playing around with” or whether it’s actually a commercial.

  31. CryingTheAnnualKingo says:

    This is a fantastic ad. Only babies and other mentally inferior creatures need things explained to them in explicit detail to be happy.

  32. Anon says:

    A two second shot of a box to try and sell one of the greatest game compilations known to man? The advert ain’t epic and it doesn’t really tell you anything abut the game(s) or company.

    *scratches head