Durham, NC (February 12, 2013) — The McKinney Ten Percent, the ad agency’s incubator that encourages all employees to devote 10% of their time to focus on new applications of creativity and technology unrelated to current client business, has found a way to breathe new life into both beer tasting and arcade gaming.
Created for Big Boss Brewing Company, Beercade is the first-ever beer-dispensing arcade game that takes the snore factor out of beer sampling. Instead of being served by a distracted bartender, wired beer rep or harried festival worker, beer lovers get to fight until the end for a sample of Big Boss’ most popular beers.
Beercade was created in-house by McKinney from the Flash-based game, The Last Barfighter, to the arcade machine itself. Players choose one of five characters representing the five year-round Big Boss brews: Hell’s Belle, Bad Penny, Angry Angel, Blanco Diablo and High Roller. In what looks like a standard biker bar, the players fight in three rounds using basic fighting moves like punches and kicks, as well as signature moves like fire throwing, unicorn horn impaling and butt slaps. The best player of the three rounds wins, and a sample of beer is automatically dispensed via the Beercade taps.
“Beercade uses a custom-made system that re-utilizes certain retro nostalgic arcade machine user actions for its concept,” explains McKinney Creative Technologist Adam Carroll. “Its coin slot has been replaced with a few drip trays, cupholders and motion sensors to accept a cup in place of a quarter. When we started, we were trying to find a way for retro arcade machines to live again, and when we brought the idea to our client Big Boss Brewing, they jumped on board.”
So what is the Beercade experience? The arcade machine itself was constructed out of wood and styled after the old fashioned machines still standing at some arcades, pizza joints and music venues. Two players stand side by side working identical joysticks under which are beer taps instead of coin slots. Each side of the machine features custom-illustrated pictures. On one a man holds a beer high in victory while being grasped at from below by scantily clad women; on the other, a woman is similarly posed extending a certain finger. The game logo, including typography, was also developed by in-house graphic designers and is showcased across the top of the machine.
“I grew up playing video games, and I remember stacking quarters at the old arcades waiting in line to show off my virtual fighting skills. And I think it’s a nostalgic experience a lot of people identify with,” said Associate Creative Director Owen Tingle. “I’ve also grown to appreciate the craft and skill it takes to make good-tasting beer. So to combine these two passions into a unique experience other people can enjoy was just awesome.”
“The Last Barfighter is a latest tool in the Big Boss arsenal. It’s a secret weapon that really showcases our beer brands in a fun, interactive, beer-dispensing video game with retro-cool appeal!” said Dave Roger, Big Boss Brewing’s marketing and distribution manager. “We plan on featuring the Last Barfighter at events that help raise funds and awareness for our charitable partners in the communities we serve.
McKinney was recently named the most effective independent advertising agency in the world by Effie Worldwide and Warc. The agency also took home Best in Show at the 2012 IAB MIXX Awards that honors the best creative digital advertising in the world. Over the past year, McKinney has won 43 major industry awards. Founded in 1969, Durham, NC-based McKinney is recognized for having one of the most innovative business models in the industry, focused on big ideas brought to life in powerful conversations between people and brands. The agency’s clients include Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, Travelocity, Samsung, Brown-Forman, Meijer, Sherwin-Williams, Gold’s Gym, Mizuno, CenturyLink, Royal Canin, Big Boss Brewing and Urban Ministries of Durham. McKinney is part of Cheil Worldwide, one of the world’s leading marketing communications networks with 55 offices in 30 countries, and has expanded its East Coast footprint by opening an office in New York.