AdQuest is a game about advertising creatives.
You know, the people who come up with those ads you see on TV, billboards, and in your social media feed.
And boy, is it real.
Like painfully, wonderfully, cry-yourself-to-sleep-ily real.
This isn’t about slogans or jingles. This is about the gauntlet creatives face to just make one simple ad. It’s navigating account teams, clients, creative directors, and focus groups. It’s blackmail, backstabbing and favoritism. It’s working 70 hour weeks only to get rebriefed and start from the beginning.
And sure, the player with the best ads wins. But it’s really about the journey. The arduous, frustrating, and occasionally rewarding journey.
How it works
As a creative, you’re attempting to compile a portfolio of finished ads, known in the biz as “book pieces.” With healthy doses of sarcasm, cynicism, lucky breaks and insecurity, you’ll follow the creative process from briefing to book piece.
There are five grueling sections you must conquer to earn your book piece:
1. Concepting: The process of coming up with dozens of ideas for a single project. These ideas are mercilessly cut down by creative directors, strategists and account managers.
2. Client Reviews: These are your big meetings with the clients, where your strongest ideas are put through yet another ringer. After many, many, MANY of these meetings, an idea is approved for the next phase.
3. Testing: Even though the client has approved your ad, they still need to be reassured that the masses will like it, too. Here, your idea is paraded before a group of random strangers who will poke holes in it for $75 and free diet soda.
4. Production: Cameras, celebrities, directors, egos, and budgets! Production is where your idea comes to life, and it’s equal parts glamour and train wreck. Tread carefully. You’re almost to the finish line.
5. Post-Production: Once you’ve got the pieces, you have to put it together with editing, sound design, color correction and final approvals. Don’t get too comfy, you're never done until it's in your portfolio.
Along the way, you'll encounter the kind of advertising situations that play out on a daily basis, from incoherent client feedback to rogue directors. You’ll be pestered with menial tasks like building presentation decks and submitting timesheets. Sometimes, you'll catch a break and actually make progress. Sometimes.
Wild cards give you a chance to make moves. They're the big, career-altering scenarios and lucky breaks that help you get ahead. These are your secret weapons.
It wouldn’t be advertising if rebriefs didn’t haunt you at every turn. Rebriefs send you back to the beginning, no questions asked. They're awful.
The game pieces are characters modeled after the cliché advertising archetypes you'd find in any creative department. Feel free to name them after people you know. That's what we do.
Need more info? Download the instructions!
Ok, but what do other people think?
WorkingNotWorking is into it, too.
WNW MAGAZINE: This Board Game Pits You Against the Ad Industry's Wrath
Who are we to make a game about advertising?
We’re a creative team with a combined 20 years in advertising, working on everything from big brand campaigns to the scraps that even an intern wouldn’t touch.
We’ve worked on TV, digital, social, outdoor, content and even radio.
We’ve won clients, lost clients, won awards and “gone freelance.”
There isn’t much we haven’t seen, and everything we have is in this game.
What's the backstory here?
Ad Quest started as a joke while concepting a project that got rebriefed multiple times for every reason under the sun. Eventually, in late 2017, this joke evolved into a real game.
We played the prototype with coworkers, and they had a blast. It wasn't just creatives. Producers, strategists and account managers loved it as well, even if some of them were on the receiving end of a few jokes. When the biggest compliment/complaint was that it’s too real, we knew we were onto something.
Who will love this game?
Ad Quest is designed to hit home with people in or around the advertising industry. It uses real scenarios, real (obnoxious) lingo, real triumph and real disillusion.
So obviously ad people will love it. But people working on a brand team, at a production company, or at a post house will also be in on the joke. Public Relations? Media? Advertising students? Yes. Yes. Yes.
But you don’t have to be in advertising to appreciate it. Maybe your kid is in advertising. Or a cousin. Or a spouse, fiancée, boyfriend, girlfriend, general friend or neighbor. This is your chance to see life on the other side.
What will your contribution do?
Turns out, there’s a lot that goes into giving the world a taste of the ad industry.
The cards are written. The board is designed. The characters are illustrated. Your contributions will help us make it a reality. A legit, sleek board game, no flimsy boards or pixelated cards. We can't make them one at a time, so we need your help in making this financially feasible.
In addition helping with production costs and prototypes, we’re also raising funds for the logistic, legal and business fees that come with a project like this.
Our goal is to show the world what it’s really like to be in advertising. Or, at the very least, to let other creatives know they’re not alone in this business.
Risks and challenges
We're new to the board game... umm... game, however we've done a lot of homework and made the calls to ensure these games are made right and shipped properly. We've had high-quality prototypes made and worked out plans with fulfillment companies that come highly recommended. We're committed to overcoming any snags along the way. Frankly, we've put too much time into this no to be.
While we're still tinkering with minor details and design modification, the working prototype we have is mostly complete. We've gone through three rounds of redesigns, with a handful of play tests conducted between each one. At this point, there will be no major changes to the game mechanics.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)