Copycat-Hating Game Firm Does Copycat Ads

Video-game maker Valve—which is now producing its own creative because ad agencies, according to marketing chief Doug Lombardi, are "pretty close to worthless"—has created some new videos for Portal 2 aimed at potential investors of the fictional company Aperture Science. The clips are amusing, as they profile Aperture's more famous and disturbing inventions—and feature the voice of J.K. Simmons (moonlighting from his job as the Famers Insurance professor) as Aperture president and founder Cave Johnson. What interests me is Lombardi's complaint that agencies were giving him "copycat treatments" and "cliché treatments" for his ad campaigns. But pretending that a fictional company is real—that's your trailblazing innovation? The same stuff I've been blogging about for only the last two years? Kind of a crappy way of showing your agency-free individuality. Still, credit where it's due—the spots are pretty great. Who cares if it's derivative if you have robots getting smashed and a good voice actor? I'm in! Three more spots after the jump.

@rebeccacullers Rebecca Cullers is a contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: April 14, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT