I learn something new on every project. On this one — my first time writing for a toy — I learned that Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time (well, at least in all of human and pocket-monster history).
Our task was to launch a new interactive Pokémon toy called My Pikachu Partner with a :30 spot that will air in the fall in the United States and in Europe. My job was to present concepts, then write out a treatment, shot list, and script for the winning one.
With such a beloved character, you’ve got to honor its history and let its proven personality shine. For our team, that meant showing Pikachu being Pikachu — but also kids having fun with the toy and demonstrating its advanced features.
When concepting, I tried to think back to what it’s like being a kid, how we all wanted our own space that was ours alone. A treehouse, a clubhouse, a secret hiding place…
The initial winning idea: Have a private kids-only treehouse, with a friend gaining entry not with a secret knock, but by showing his new pal Pikachu (who’s designed to travel everywhere he goes, like a best buddy should).
A treehouse ended up being a little out of budget and too tricky to shoot in Florence, Italy, but the main theme stuck — a boy takes My Partner Pikachu to his friend’s house and playroom, and their whole crew has a blast.
Because it was shot in Italy with Italian actors, we wrote the spot with all V.O., which made localization easier too for non-English speaking markets.
I’m grateful to the team over at Diaframma, who’ve been great to collaborate with (on this and on other toys too).