In a stroke of brilliant marketing, the new Meet Walter teaser for the upcoming Alien: Covenant film functions equally as an introduction to Michael Fassbender’s leading role, and an advertisement for Advanced Micro Device’s (AMD) growing stakes in the 3D printing industry. The short film showcases the innovative tech that goes into manufacturing Walter, a synthetic human played by Fassbender, in a teaser-turned-in-world-ad that effectively blends science fiction and reality.
“This [concept] struck a chord,” says Karl Stewart, President of 48 Communications, the marketing firm behind the AMD-focused teaser. “It allowed us to show AMD not only in the right light, with machine intelligence and artificial intelligence, but it’s an elevated story that allows us to show AMD both through the fictional use of where AI could be, as well as the application of real-world-today technology in application and other facets. It wasn’t just, ‘let’s put a logo on an android,’ it’s the full 360.”
The idea of creating an in-world advertisement around the character of Walter quickly materialized. Director Luke Scott (son of original Alien director Ridley Scott) then refined the central concept, deciding to show fans, for the very first time, how the synthetics of the Alien franchise are actually made. According to Scott, 3D printing was a natural choice. “I took a lot of reference in the biomedical world about 3D printing limbs and organs, going down to the molecular level about how Walter is produced from a genetic level and grown traditionally in an artificial womb,” says the director. “Or is he—is it—created as an adult version, and then the information is implanted via the AMD chip?”
The teaser has a clear advantage for both Fox and the Alien franchise as well. By lending a real world grounding to Alien: Covenant, the AMD tie-in creates a more immersive experience for audiences. Alien: Covenant lands in theatres May 19th, 2017