E-mail game a Tonic for MTV gigs

Tonic has created a ‘viral’, e-mail-based game, MTV Midnight Mash, to promote a series of live music events taking place across Europe through mid-May.

The MTV Motomash tour, which is jointly sponsored by MTV Networks Europe and Motorola, features music from different genres mixed, or ‘mashed’ by on-site DJs, as on the network’s MTV Mash series.

According to Tonic managing director Robert Kennedy, the group was briefed to design a game with an e-mail-based mechanic that would raise awareness of the events and generate regional MTV website traffic.

MTV Midnight Mash features ‘humorous, retro’ animated wrestlers performing moves such as Punk Rock Head-lock and Death Metal Takedown to musical riffs.

‘When you’re sending [a game] through e-mail, it has to be off the wall to grab people’s attention. We wanted to create something viral, in that it’s fun and interesting, and people want to send it on to friends,’ says Kennedy.

The game’s wrestling concept is drawn from the idea of mashing, while the animated characters are inspired by The Midnight Mashers, a DJ act that performs a Mexican wrestling burlesque on the MTV Motomash tour.

According to Kennedy, Web-users enter the Flash interactive site on MTV’s websites to select a wrestler and a sequence of moves, and e-mail the link to a friend.

Tonic won the work in December, after a three-way, unpaid pitch. Design director Simon Heys was creative lead on the project.

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