Kool Runnings

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AUCKLAND, Monday: Creative agency/production house Augusto founder/director Michelle Walshe (Chasing Great, Short Poppies) and director Alan Bibby (Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Coldplay) are the creatives behind the new video released today for Kool from indie pop star Benee.

A collaboration with Electronic Arts and Maxis, the studio behind the popular video game franchise The Sims, the campaign comes via creative agency Bring, who worked closely with the Maxis development team to design her original Sim avatar, bringing Benee to life as a character in The Sims.

The video was brought to life by creative production partner Augusto and will launch the first Kool single from her debut album Hey U X, out now.

The music video sees the singer-songwriter, who previously ignited streaming platforms with more than 2 billion streams of her 2019 hit single Supalonely, ‘play with life’ in The Sims with her Sim-ified Benee character. In addition, Benee recorded Kool in Simlish for players of The Sims 4 to enjoy her music in-game.

The Sims has become a pop culture phenomenon and has sold more than 200 million copies.

“I wrote Kool about people out there that seem effortlessly cool. I’m nahtt like that! I’m a fan of The Sims and it’s been supa exciting working on this collaboration.”

With borders closed between New Zealand and Australia, the creation of the video saw the Augusto team build an entire real world Sims replica using only props that mirrored what was available in-game. Ensuring the real and virtual world were a seamless match, the team built the set and virtual world simultaneously to ensure they could accurately reflect each other as much as possible.

The Kool music video was created with both music and gaming fans in mind, and combines Benee’s music with the quirkiness of the iconic life-simulation game. Crafted by Walshe and Bibby, the video showcases Stella inhabiting two worlds – one set in The Sims featuring Benee embracing the role of a Sim and all of the comical nuances that go along with it; and another as herself in the real world controlling her Sims avatar.

Walshe said: “Alan and I dreamed up a wild crazy fantasy of creating a real-world Sims environment and then won the job – so we had to pull it off in three weeks!

“Our producers were unbelievable. Didn’t blink an eyelid at the toughest job we’ve ever thrown them. The result exceeded my expectations and as far as I know it might be the first time in the world, a Sims environment has been created in real life.”

Benee said: “I wrote Kool about people out there that seem effortlessly cool. I’m nahtt like that! I’m a fan of The Sims and it’s been supa exciting working on this collaboration.”

The campaign centres around the original Kool music video, with content rolling out through social and digital channels over the next month.

  • View The Making Of below:


Directors: Alan Bibby & Michelle Walshe
Producers: Emily Russell & Brad Harvey
DOP: Adam Luxton
Art Director: Ash Turner & Lara Marshall
Gaffer Best Boy: Karl Saunders
1st AC: Asuka Sylvie
Grip: Matt Hunter
Post Producer: Simone Goulding
Post Production Coordinator: Zoe Jones
Video Editor: Kat Kasajima
Colourist: Pete Ritchie
Visual Effects: Cause+FX
Stills Photographer: Graeme Murray
Production Company: Augusto
Bring GM: Adam Ireland
Bring ECD: James Griffiths
Bring Producer: Alexia Tomshin
Bring Creative: Will Blackburn

About Augusto
Augusto is a multidisciplinary creative agency and producer of content, making everything from feature films and docos, to TV shows, ads and online content

About Bring
Bring is a creative agency, part of Universal Music Group. Bring offers brands unique ways to connect to fans through Universal Music’s world-class talent, tools & capabilities. They’ve previously worked (mainly out of Australia) with American Express, KFC, Klarna, Adobe, Wrigley’s, and Air NZ.

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