Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric – Ad Analysis

Published on December 2nd, 2014 by bmcneely. Filed under Advertising, Video Games


Sega recently released Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Nintendo Wii U. The game’s advertisement is strong overall with dynamic editing and diverse shot content.

The majority of shots in the advertisement are cut together in rapid succession, with many shots only lasting a few seconds each. Studies have shown that this kind of rapid editing leads to greater viewer excitement than if the advertisement had fewer cuts and longer shots.

The edits also create a varied montage spanning the different scenarios that arise in the game. If the shots show Sonic doing enough different things, the montage will lead viewers to generalize that they can do anything in the game, an effect that is called generalization montage. With shots of Sonic running on water, zip-lining through the air, piloting ships and submarines, and using numerous attacks and weapons on assorted enemies, the advertisement achieves this level of variety.

Another ingredient in this advertisement is the power of omission. The cliffhanger ending heightens viewer interest by leaving the rest up to the imagination, and the only way to find out what happens next is to play the game.

There are downsides to these editing decisions, however. A number of the shots are cutscenes rather than gameplay footage. This distinction, combined with the brevity of each shot, means that the viewer gets a less clear sense of what it would be like to actually play the game than if there had been fewer cutscenes and longer gameplay shots. This tradeoff seems to be deliberate though, since it allows the advertisement to effectively heighten user excitement and curiosity.


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