Art Director, UA Creative
Sep 2019 - Present
I develop UA creative strategies, direct ad creative, and manage creative testing pipelines for all games. I lead a team of internal video editors and designers, as well as external designers, to produce a wide variety of data-driven creative ads, including 2D and 3D gameplay videos, live action, AR filters, banners, and playables. I reduced external creative costs by more than $500,000 per year by building a low cost, high performance network of freelancers and agencies around the world. This enabled our team to increase monthly ad creative output by 563%. I also manage the department's budget including accruals, forecasts, and contract negotiations. I've supported the launch of Shop Titans on Steam, Disney Mirrorverse, and Marvel Realm of Champions.
Shop Titans Steam LaunchIn May 2020, Kabam launched their hit mobile game Shop Titans on the PC storefront Steam. Throughout April and May my team was tasked with preparing creative assets for the store page. Since Steam was a new platform for us, my first step was to assemble a robust deck of resources including asset specs, example usage, and best practices. Knowing that PC gamers are often resistant to mobile ports, I developed a creative strategy focused on high quality artwork and visuals, including a fresh store trailer, 3D ad content, and original artwork not seen on the mobile storefronts. This strategy also supported pre-launch campaigns for wishlists. The launch was incredibly successful and Shop Titans released at the top of Steam's New Free to Play list.
I chose to produce new 3D animation since PC gamers are accustomed to high quality 3D promo assets. This was the first time exploring 3D creative for Shop Titans. Due to its success in the Steam campaigns, I proposed trying the 3D ads in mobile campaigns as well. The results were a big success, leading me to green light 4 additional 3D ads throughout the rest of 2020.
Part of the Steam storefront creative support included Steam Trading Cards. I took advantage of this opportunity to leverage old concept art that had never been utilized for marketing.
AR Filters & AdsI always encourage my team to pursue innovation and think outside the box. In the Spring of 2020 I kicked off exploration into AR filters / lenses for Snapchat and Instagram. I directed my team to develop several AR filters for Shop Titans. I produced several ads with actors "wearing" these filters, and also coordinated with our MARCOM social manager to provide creative support for launching the filters on our various social channels.
New Marvel CreativeWhen I joined Kabam, Marvel Contest of Champions (MCOC) was approaching its 5 year anniversary and its best performing ad was nearly 2 years old. I was quickly tasked with improving MCOC ad performance and scalability.
The first tactic I employed was producing radically fresh content. Previous ads were very evergreen and consisted mostly of gameplay. To counter this, I produced 6x short-form live action concepts my team developed internally. I partnered with an external agency in Los Angeles to handle the production and then my team finalized edits and iterations in-house. I oversaw the full production process including on-set supervision.
While the above examples are higher quality productions, I knew from my previous learnings that lo-fi live action could work incredibly well. I contracted a fight scene choreographer and director based in Finland to produce a live action fight sequence paired with matching gameplay.
Finally, since live action is far more difficult to iterate on than gameplay, I started exploring a better formula for our evergreen content. After reviewing our top performing ads I noticed a trend: they all included character selection grids. I hypothesized that this visual resonated well with fighting game fans. To test this hypothesis, I had my team develop a new ad heavily inspired by classic fighting game character selection screens. This ad quickly became our top performing asset. I greenlit 20+ variations with different character mashups, as well as combinations with our live action content. I was able to achieve outstanding results, reaching 4.0%+ CTR and lower CPIs than our previous evergreen content.