Wow, look at all this copy. And for a videogame ad! The spreads ostensibly feature pro skaters Mike Carroll, Danny Way and Rob Dyrdek, but the conceit is that their thumbs are being interviewed. The concept developed "from a studio insight at EA," explains Heat writer Warren Cockrel, who collaborated on the text with AD Anna Rowland. "A game art director who used to design skateboards came up with the idea of featuring the thumb in the back of a skating magazine where up-and-coming skaters are interviewed. Most game ads in gamer books are the same - a giant game screenshot. The Skate ads were designed to really stand out as if they're actual interviews or part of the magazine's editorial."
In point of fact, all the copy is the work of the creative team, and what they "love about the thumb is that we could have it say whatever we wanted to create a personality and add depth to the story," says Cockrel. "We think making the thumb the hero makes the ads pretty hard-working; inherent in the idea is the point of difference that Skate's unique analog controls allows gamers, and their thumbs, to feel like real skaters."