One of the Best Trailer Campaigns in History

I have been meaning to get to this set of trailers since I started this blog and I feel that now is the time to do so.  I honestly cannot think of a better series of advertisements/trailers in my history of having viewed them.  I can still remember watching these when they debuted and thinking “Wow!  They have done something incredible here!” I am so excited to share a review with you of them, so without any further delay please enjoy the trailer below for HALO 3:

One of my greatest regrets in the world of Story is that I haven’t yet been able to discover the vast universe of Halo. It was the game that changed video games and it continues to change the way people interact with them – via Forge, Machinima’s, Online multiplayer, you name it.  Bungie developed a phenomenal story world that has revolutionalized the world of video games forever.  And, more importantly for now, they created one of the greatest ad campaigns via trailers in the history of video games.

The video above was the first of a five part advertisement campaign. I have the links below to the other 4, plus a great fake documentary on the creation of the diorama. Check all five of them out and then come back for my thoughts:

Personally my favorite is the Museum.  Because there are six videos, I will be sticking to the overarching themes and styles rather than beat-by-beat breakdowns.

What was revolutionary about this series of teasers was not just the live action telling of a fictional story but the incredible believability of the performances.  Each of the older gentlemen could have participated in an actual war and seem, not to be acting, but Re-Enacting something that actually occurred in their lives.  Both of my grandfathers fought overseas during either World War II or Korea, and while I never got to talk with them about it before they died I remember interviewing my Dad about what his father’s military career.  I remember that there was a sense of reverence that he had about the events, despite his not having been there; it was obvious that he spoke of it with the weight and care that the subject deserved.  Truly I want to say that this earnest appreciation for the gravity of war is not something that can be faked, but after having seen these trailers I guess it can! 🙂

Personally I want to bear hug the cinematographer of these clips!  Each one has a beautifully documentary nature that is easy to replicate but very hard to replicate well and that certainly was accomplished in these.  The low angles and the intent focus on faces and motion will the subject narrates on voiceover is beautiful.  And again I cannot say enough about the performances!  Each of these men shows levels of depth of character that are astounding.  I watched each video at least 5 times before doing this review and each time it seems to get more and more real.  Hats off to all of them!

What impresses me most about the trailers, though, is that the reality of the situation isn’t made by elaborate sets or with intense special effects.  The quality of the trailers lies entirely on the believability and sincerity of the performers acting.  The sets do not offer much to the story telling other than to be the “place where it all happened”.  Instead of doing flash cutscenes taking us back to the fight, we instead watch as old, frail men walk back onto their own versions of Normandy, the Bulge, Iwo Jima, etc.  You feel, like I did, that we are hearing the stories from our ancestors – explaining history which got us to where we are today.  Truly a brilliant idea brilliantly carried out.

Two final notes:
First, I love how they have a Behind the Scene feature that they twist to become another part of the world they are building (ie – the John 117 Monument).  They show you exactly how they made the diorama and they sell it as documenting a historical monument being built, like the Vietnam Memorial or something!  I just love how we do get to see how it all came together yet it still stays in canon with the Halo Universe.

Second, and I am quoting from Machinima’s Top Ten Gaming Commercials, who said about that first “Believe” trailer that, “By the end of the spot the viewer is pulled in so deeply that you almost expect the figurines to start moving….UNTIL THEY DO!!!” I absolutely agree and think they really kicked off an amazing series of ads. (Btw – the song from the trailer is “Raindrops” by Chopin).

So that’s it!  If you haven’t already, PLEASE do so right now!  I really mean it when I say that this is the best ad/trailer campaign I have come across sense.  I really hope that someday I can sit down and enjoy all of the Halo games and the vast World they have created.  Good stuff 🙂

And, of course, how could I discuss the world of Halo without sharing the trailer for the upcoming final installment:

Looks SICK!  I know enough of the plot to know what got it here and I love how they are bringing him back – though I have heard it could be for the last time.  Really looking forward to this and if anybody has an Xbox 360 you are looking to get rid of….for around $75……hit me up.  Fo’ Shiz…zle…..

Thanks guys!  So glad I was able to get this out on time for once 😉  No plans for next week but I am really excited about this blog.  It has been so much fun to make and I love it when you guys give me suggestions.  I am open to whatever you guys say so please let me know what I should do next!  Also, I wanted to make it known that my review of the “Maltese Falcon” is on the way to the Soontobeangel Blog.  Check that out soon and please leave me a comment about what you think of the Halo Universe or games, or about the trailers!  I wanna hear from you! Thanks!

Please Comment Below and Subscribe!

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About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

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