Heart Piece Plus
An upcoming lifestyle sketch docuseries
Heart Piece Plus creates a dialogue around social responsibility, using video games as the framework for a grand, interconnected (and shared) coming of age story. The inspiration for Heart Piece Plus is based on “new game plus,” or NG+, which is an added component to video games that allows the player to restart the main storyline upon completion.
Essentially, when a player finishes a game, they are given the option to start from the beginning using the same character. Though the game is made more challenging, it offers players an opportunity to explore the game world on a deeper level; to explore bypassed areas; unlock missed puzzles; interact with new NPCs; and find elusive easter eggs.
This notion of starting anew — and using the knowledge/experience from a previous playthrough to enrich the narrative — is what drives Heart Piece Plus. The lifestyle sketch docuseries caters to gamers and gaming enthusiasts. The hosts, Doctor D and Master Joe, a.k.a. Desinia and Joseph Miller, speak to people whose lives were shaped during (and, in part, by) the heyday of gaming. Using nostalgia as storytelling fuel, they show how lessons learned in gaming can be used to enrich one’s life during adulthood.
Know the brand
Analog vs. Digital
Within the context of video games and gaming culture, exists a comparison: the difference between analog and digital. These rival components to gaming, which distinguishes OG gamers from the new-age geeks, is the chosen metaphor for the program.
In gaming culture, analog is authentic and real; it is tangible and true. There are no hidden layers, no secret buttons. Whereas digital is replicated and plastic. Though it is modern and more technologically advanced, it is also distant and disconnected. In the real world, it is best to live an “analog lifestyle.” In the gaming world, it is more fun to play with digital software. Finding a healthy balance between both worlds while navigating life as an adult is what Heart Piece Plus teaches.
In other words, authenticity is their message. They remain true to first-class gaming software and hardware, using original products to solicit emotional connections and to bond with their audience. At the human level, this translates to staying true to oneself; never faking or pretending; to being proud of your likes, dislikes, emotions, and preferences because they are all uniquely you.
One way Heart Piece Plus illustrates this idea is through, well, illustrations. Viewers will notice a clever balance between graphic design and photography. These different mediums allow Master Joe and Doctor D to draw comparisons and create similarities, ultimately creating a marriage between an analog and digital lifestyle.
Heart Piece Plus is a realistic lifestyle brand that accurately reflects and celebrates the well-rounded nature of the gaming community.
Unlike other gaming outlets, Heart Piece Plus provides introspective offerings that extend into areas of interest beyond games while maintaining their bond with video game culture. These metaphors cultivate a better sense of representation and connection to the individual at the human level.
How product photography creates anticipation
The content featured on Heart Piece Plus belongs to a niche sub-genre of video gamers. To attract their targeted audience, we created photography that would evoke nostalgia in their viewers. We used product signature to this very particular gaming culture to appeal to their interests. We also paired the items associated with gaming culture, particularly Nintendo, with other reputable brands from the 90s and early 2000s, which our audience would recognize.
Situating the content within this timeframe was the first step in conditioning their audience. Additionally, this shows that the hosts of Heart Piece Plus belong to this culture. One of the challenges we faced in creating this product photography was avoiding cliches and stereotypes. Many of the brands and images we used are widely recognized. Imposters often repurpose similar memorabilia to appeal to the same demographics. However, those who truly belong to this class of ‘adult gamers’ can identify the fakes. Even still, this approach walked a fine line. In the end, however, our product photography fulfilled our intentions of driving curiosity and creating a sense of belonging in the viewers that Heart Piece Plus wants to attract.
Similarly, the content and the channels where these photos are circulating were always destined to appeal to certain people. We made them appealing to audiences new to gaming culture, or simply attracted to saturated colors. The bright, clean aesthetic was intentional and used to appeal to the senses first, attracting the viewer’s gaze so they are interested in taking a deeper look.
A growing social media presence
The product photography created for Heart Piece Plus differs from the media used to build their Instagram profile. Keeping the two separate made sense. We did not want to fatigue their audience with repetition. The photography purposed for ad space needed to remain true to that intention, while photography used to engage the audience needed to remain casual, authentic, and personable.
Heart Piece Plus uses a structured Instagram grid, building cohesion through consecutive clips that make up a larger image. This pulls the viewer deeper into the grid, prompting them to explore older content with the same enthusiasm they would a new post.
To balance personalized photography that showcases the hosts, their interest, and their love for each other and gaming, we created crisp, minimalistic isometric photography. This adds pleasant white space, which helps the grid breathe and feel modern. Moreover, the isometric photography ads three-dimensional depth to a two-dimensional plane. The placement of these images on the grid also creates a plus sign which emphasizes the brand’s image and the iconography used in their logo.
Show us the audience
We all have a little geek in us
One of our strategies to accumulate immediate viewership is to show our audience who Master Joe and Doctor D are, as well as how they interact with their core audiences. This works in conjunction with their product photography. By showing our audience that we know who they are, as well as showing them things they are interested in, we can create bonds of trust early on. This is extremely important.
A program such as Heart Piece Plus relies on consumer loyalty and audience feedback to propel the narrative. Therefore, we needed to portray the two hosts as being approachable, relatable, and, you guessed it, authentic.
We achieved with ease. It’s amazing how fantastic lifestyle photography is when the models are instructed to be themselves. The imagery is playful, humorous, and quirky. Deep down, the viewer thinks to themselves, “Yeah, I’ve done that…”