Eurobest

Orange - Cultural Avatars

PUBLICIS CONSEIL, Paris / ORANGE / 2023

Awards:

1 Bronze Eurobest
1 Shortlisted Eurobest
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The African youth is full of pride and ambition. They make up 77% of the continent’s population. Orange, as a global network engaged in connecting Africans together, wanted to empower young Africans by giving them the tools to take on the gaming market.

Although Africa is home to the fastest growing gaming market in the world, the continent remains almost invisible in video games. The African youth, proud of their many cultures, are taking matters into their own hands by developing games themselves. Unfortunately, they lack the tools or investment to do so. Orange, the first network and gaming partner of Africa wanted to empower the new generation.

Idea

In Africa, many cultures are represented by apparel: To empower it, you first need to make it visible.

The Cultural Avatars is a collection of assets and initiatives representing African cultures made thanks to young local talents. The first gaming skins collection was introduced live on the runway, in one of the continents biggest gaming events. The 3D models were then shared on open source for big and small editors to use freely. A Game Jam was then organized to help independent African editors create games using the Cultural Avatars and inspired by African stories.

Strategy

In 2020, the number of active gamers in Africa was estimated to be around 87 million, for a revenue of approximately US$3.3 billion: it’s the fastest growing market in gaming, yet the continent is not represented in games.

Today’s African youth finds inspiration within the continent. They are extremely proud of their culture, traditions, and values. This self-confidence and pride have turned Africa into a source of inspiration for many industries in the western world.

But one industry lags: gaming. Mostly designed in the west, games are still, for most, monocultural in the stories, clothing and more.

African culture is nearly inexistant in the industry, ironic considering the industry is heavily relying on Africa for its growth.

It’s time to represent and empower the players and creators who will write the future of the industry.

Execution

We called on local African designers to make a series of assets inspired by African cultures from different parts of the continent. Once the mods were integrated in the games, a reveal video and a special designer focused video was released for the Orange Esport Experience event in Abidjan. They were presented on a runway during the competition. A game jam was also organized for independent developers to create games based on African stories with the campaign’s assets.

Outcome

As many African gamers told us, representation of Africa in games is non-existent. Giving the assets freely was perceived as a positive first step in encouraging and helping young developers create relevant stories about a continent we never see or hear about.

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