To launch the eagerly awaited fourth installment in Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo series, B-Reel has revealed its new campaign daring gamers to taste something no one on earth has ever tried before: a Demon Meat Shake.
After the open Beta of Diablo IV, piles of demons were left lying around the game world, slayed by the hands of thousands of loyal and bloodthirsty players. The makers of Diablo didn’t want to let all of the demon meat go to waste, so they’ve chopped, drained, blended, and turned them into the Demon Meat Shake.
As an especially devilish twist, the Demon Meat Shake turns out to be 100% Vegan according to human standards. The drink is inspired by the iconic Diablo character, the Butcher, who returns to the latest game.
Wligible Diablo fans across the US will have the opportunity to get their hands on the Butcher’s Special, delivered straight to their home. The Demon Meat Shake can be ordered by tweeting @Diablo together with the #DemonMeatShake and #DiabloPromo hashtags on Twitter. Around 1,000 Shakes will be delivered to gamers in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But the question is, who will be brave enough to try it?
Knowing that gamers love to snack and sip during gaming, the Demon Meat Shake was created to spark curiosity for the launch of Diablo IV—the ultimate action RPG experience that’s filled with hordes of Hellish monsters to slaughter, countless abilities to master, nightmarish dungeons, and legendary loot.
To learn more, we spoke to Afshin Moeini & Christian Poppius, Creative Directors at B-Reel.
What was the brief?
Spark curiosity around Diablo IV for gamers who are not yet into it. From the beginning our client Blizzard was looking for something unconventional that would grab gamer’s attention…perhaps they didn’t mean THIS unconventional.
How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?
The whole team more or less had some sort of relationship with the Diablo franchise growing up. So initially, we just had lots of fun with the opportunity of conjuring up all kinds of evil ideas for a game that was close to our dark hearts.
To give you a taste… a blood test that used real DNA to create a unique twisted Diablo character in the game, or a virtual beheading where you offered your head to the game for ultimate Diablo knowledge. You name it, our team conjured it, but where we ended up was somewhere far more simple and sinister.
What was the process behind ideating the concept?
Knowing that gamers love to snack and sip while playing, we knew that something around food was a good way to their hearts. But it has to be something that doesn’t make your keyboard or the controller dirty. If they’re brave enough to take on hordes of Hellish monsters, to step foot in nightmarish dungeons, would they dare to try to eat something they’ve killed in the game?
This insight made us realize that during the Diablo IV Beta, billions of demons were slayed at the hands of bloodthirsty gamers. We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves if we let all this good demon meat go to waste. So in the name of sustainability and resourcefulness, we chopped, drained, blended and poured them into the first ever Demon Meat Shake. Killed in the game, enjoyed IRL.
We thought, “Let’s see just how brave and sinister these gamers really are.” When we presented it to our clients with the caveat ”Oh, and it’s 100% vegan according to human standards”, everyone cracked up. We knew we had something truly twisted, something highly shareable with an “I dared to try it” factor. Now we just needed to figure out how this could be delivered to gamer’s doors across the US.
What was the production process like?
This was unlike anything we’d ever done before. Maybe it’s easy to make a Demon Meat Shake in hell, but up here in the real world it almost killed us. Jokes aside, we knew early on we wanted it to look gruesome and disgusting, but taste surprisingly good.
So together with our food partner Bompas & Parr, we started a journey of tasting what hell had to offer. A few tasted pretty good but lacked the visual gore, some stained our teeth and others we wouldn’t even wish upon our worst enemies.
It was an extremely fun and sometimes disgusting process but as we narrowed it down in collaboration with our brave clients, we landed on a drink with a ghoul brain as the base, covered with some sweet delicious red, black and white demon juice topped off with a layer of smokey see-through skin to keep it all in place.
The icing on the cake is the awesome Demon Meat Shake logo made by the illustrator Mander. We wanted it to feel inspired by big juice and coffee chains, but still make it through legal.
That’s just for the Demon Meat Shake… we still had to figure out how to launch this drink from hell and market it to mere mortals. Together with Tuukka Koski, former two time Michelin star chef, turned world class food photographer and director, we brought the world of Diablo to life through some truly twisted key visuals and a launch film that we still can’t believe made it out from the editing floor.
We were in constant talks with legal, making sure we followed the ESRB rules without ever losing the gore that the game is so well known and loved for.
What was the biggest challenge during production and how did you overcome it?
Our ambitions from the moment we landed the idea were big. We knew we needed to get creative and crafty to bring to life the world of Diablo for the launch assets, whilst staying within the limits of the budget.
Our collective passion for this special, one of a kind project showed as the whole team went above and beyond. Watching the launch film and still images, you would never think these hellish scenes took place inside a quaint picturesque barn, on the lush outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden. It was truly paradise outside, hell inside.
Another big challenge was maintaining quality control of the look and flavor of the shakes on delivery day. With a one day only delivery mechanism, we relied on our food partner Bompas & Parr to brief our delivery partner Fooji’s kitchens across New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
There were a few bumps in the road, but we managed to get the roughly 1,000 hand-crafted shakes delivered to gamers’ doors. And the results are posted all over the internet for everyone to witness their Demon Meat Shake experience.
What is one funny or notable thing that happened during production?
Needless to say, legal was a big part of the entire process of bringing this sick idea to life. The drink was already 100% vegan, so no issues there, but we were planning on using ethically sourced animal by-products for the shoot as stand ins for demon meats and organs. But… 4 days before the shoot, we got word from the legal team that the entire shoot had to be fully vegan.
Our production company Skarp production however went to hell and back, and with them they brought some amazing looking fully vegan demon guts and organs. In hindsight, probably for the better because otherwise we would still be walking around smelling like roadkill. Thank you legal!
What’s the main message of this project and why does it matter?
Before we launched the Demon Meat Shake, we teased the hell out of it. Thinking of what strings to pull on, to capture the interest of hardcore Diablo fans, we simply released a visual showing guts and blood, beautifully shot by Tuukka Koski as something you’d want to frame and put on your wall. Then we wrote “The Butcher’s Special” on it with a date.
For those in the know, The Butcher is a boss beast from previous games that is making his return in the fourth installment. And the hard core fans ate it up. They put Twitter ablaze with ideas of what it meant and created Reddit threads to discuss the cryptic message. And we gotta say, some guesses on twitter were pretty damn close to our surprise demon drink. Gotta love the internet.
How long did it take from inception to delivery?
We’ve been working on the launch with Blizzard since October, the project has had many twists and turns on the road to the Demon Meat Shake.
What do you hope it achieves for the brand?
We’re honored to have helped Blizzard add a twisted new chapter to the iconic Diablo universe. We set out to peak the interest of both die hard fans, as well as bringing new gamers to the warm embrace of all the evil that lurks in the world of Diablo.
Selfishly, we just loved seeing the internet drink some demons and who knows, this might not be the last time people get the opportunity to down a demon in shake form. Stay tuned mortals.
Creative Agency, B-Reel
Chief Creative Officer, Zack McDonald
Creative Director, Afshin Moeini
Creative Director, Christian Poppius
Copywriter, Gustav Gabrils
Art Director, Claes Holm
Designer, Sofi Faxing
Senior Strategist, Thomas Eon
Brand Director, Ramon Cruz
Brand Manager, Natalie Kilic
Director of Production, Danielle Russo
Senior Producer, Mei Li Heman
Executive Producer, Experiential, Travis Craw
Meat Shake Food Partner, Bompas & Parr
Delivery Partner, Fooji
Dinner Food Partner, MKI
Dinner Food Partner, Bad Taste
Client, Blizzard Entertainment
Vice President, Marketing, Diablo, Kaleb Ruel
Sr. Director, Influencer Marketing, Diablo, Euni Lee
Director, Global Marketing, Diablo IV, Daniela Rodriguez
Manager, Global Digital Marketing – Diablo IV, Pat Coyle
Program Manager, Global Marketing – Diablo IV, Christopher Tai
Photographer/Director, Tuukka Koski
Executive Producer, Andrea Hasselrot
Production Management, Skarp Production
Set Design & Props, Martin Bergström
Food Stylist & Props, Elin Åström
Director of Photography, Viktor Skogqvist
Gaffer / Films, Tobias Håkansson
Gaffer / Stills, Mattias Sätterberg
Digi Tech, Nigel Perry
Post Production Stills, FLC Helsinki
Post Production Films, The Line
Editor, Robin Johansson