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Modern blockbusters are filled to the brim with CGI spectacles, but there are only so many unbelievable stunts an audience can watch before they cease to impress. With this in mind, 20th Century Fox turned instead to the lure of live entertainment for its awe-inspiring Assassin’s Creed advert.

Leap of Faith Live was broadcast on Channel 4 on January 1st, advertising the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie, based on the eponymous game. Rather than showing clips from the film, as per a regular trailer, the spot featured a recreation of the one of the movie’s action sequences – a 100-foot freefall without a harness – performed live by stuntman Dave Grant in full Assassin costume. "In a world of CGI film action sequences, we wanted to pay homage to the use of real stunt action sequences used in the film," says Charlie Read of The Outfit, which created the ad for 20th Century Fox. "By recreating a live Leap of Faith, we wanted to give the audience an insight into the skill and thrill of real stunts, and get people excited about the theatrical release.

An advert to appeal to an audience that’s seen enough CGI
20th Century Fox (2016) ©

At a time when people are spoilt for choice on the media front, entertainment that stirs real emotion within its audience is increasingly important. And few emotions are more powerful than awe; studies suggest it makes people feel like time is plentiful, ‘curbs impatience’ and even ‘inspires a desire to volunteer time’. Studies also prove that awe-inspiring stories are the ones most likely to be shared online.

On top of eliciting extreme emotions, Leap of Faith Live also provides an exclusive ‘I was there’ experience to those that tuned in. With platforms like Snapchat proving that the best way to get people to pay attention is giving them only one shot to view a piece of content – a piece of content that’s unedited and completely authentic – live spots like this one make a similar point. “Live is the biggest opportunity yet,” says Twitter investor Chris Sacca.

Katy Young is a Canvas8 behavioural analyst. She has a degree in American Studies and Film and an MA in Journalism. Her interests include wild swimming, thinking of podcast ideas and singing in an all-female choir.

09 Jan 17
2 min read

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