- United Artists Releasing created a voice-powered Alexa adventure game to accompany the April 12 premiere of stop-motion animated movie "Missing Link." The "Missing Link Adventures" skill lets users participate in six treasure hunts that include exercises, riddles and dialogue by the film's main characters, Variety reported.
- The skill, as Alexa apps are called, has 1.5 hours of interactive audio content from "Missing Link" characters voiced by Zach Galifianakis, Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana. The three characters ask users to find household objects that can be "transformed" into creatures.
- People can access the skill from an Amazon Echo speaker, Echo Show display, Fire TV and other devices with Alexa support. United Artists, a joint venture between Annapurna Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and MGM's Orion Pictures, worked with digital agency Isobar to create the Alexa skill for "Missing Link."
The "Missing Link" activity for Alexa serves as an interactive way to engage moviegoers in an experience that supports the film's release on April 12 and spurs excitement around the premiere, potentially driving box office sales. Because the skill urges kids to participate in treasure hunts that include physical challenges like slithering on the floor, parents might be more inclined to allow their kids to interact with this skill over more traditional media like TV. Isobar designed the skill to let children handle it at their own pace over multiple sessions, helping to broaden its appeal among kids of all ages.
Isobar's chief creative officer Ricardo Salema told Variety that he expects artificial intelligence (AI) technology to get more advanced in the coming years, letting movie studios create interactive conversations that aren't completely scripted at the outset. Alexa skills can be more persistent with continual updates that help to bridge the period among releases of movie sequels, he said.
United Artists is far from alone in creating Alexa skills with movie tie-ins. Sony Pictures last year promoted the release of "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" with a campaign that let Alexa users listen to a new story, nursery rhyme or joke voiced by characters from the animated film. Universal developed a voice adventure for "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" that had original content in a choose-your-own-adventure story to parallel the movie's plot. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment promoted the DVD and digital release of "Bohemian Rhapsody" with a singalong skill. The growing number of movie-related Alexa skills suggests that they are resonating with consumers and drive significant awareness around premieres.