Ubisoft approached Nomadic to develop the key art for Just Dance 2 after the successful launch of Just Dance. Our client indicated that multiple Just Dance product extensions were a prospect. We took this as an opportunity to create an architecture to guide the brand in the coming years.
CREATING A BRAND ARCHITECTURE
Beyond the immediate objectives, we wanted to create an extendable system for a range of Just Dance products while maintaining the loud shelf-presence established for Just Dance 1. The original key art was inspired by vintage typographic gig posters, and we had set a difficult precedent for the brand by creating the largest logo ever seen on the front of a Wii box (unverified claim). Pure typography, particularly in the gaming space, was uncommon for fairly obvious reasons. “Call of Duty” set in 200pt Gotham Bold is not nearly as cool as a guy holding a gun, surrounded by explosions, and a helicopter over his left shoulder. While the Just Dance branding had great shelf presence, a typographic system introduced issues over the lifetime of the brand. At some point, we would eventually run out of colors, finishes and logo angles to create meaningful differentiation from title to title. We wanted to create a structure that could evolve the personality of the brand over time.
After several rounds of exploration, our team developed an architecture. We created a system that not only incorporated the Just Dance 1 branding, but could also guide art creation for the primary product line and extensions (e.g. Just Dance Kids). The structure of logo and song placement became a guide for a brand that could either live in pure typography or in art direction appropriate to the product extension. As a result, the Just Dance brand maintains strong shelf presence, is expandable, and holds together within a consistent framework.
Art direction within the Just Dance brand architecture
For Just Dance 2, we utilized a black background with a white logo for strong contrast on shelf and to communicate premium. Rather than treating songs as back of box features, the songs were integrated into the key art to create interest, create competitive distinction, and encourage purchase. As proof-of-concept, we did an exploration for Just Dance Kids with Brazilian artist Marconi. The psychedelic collage incorporates playful music-themed imagery with songs featured in the game.