Agency: The Marketing Arm
Campaign: GameStop Surprize Attack 2
In 2009, GameStop set a retail record by securing nearly 2 million pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game went on to become the largest entertainment launch in history, selling 4.7 million copies and generating more than $310 million in revenue in its first 24 hours.
In 2010, the challenge was to outdo prior success with Call of Duty: Black Ops, despite strong competition, negative press from a lawsuit between Activision and the game developer and other challenges. GameStop set the pre-order goal for the campaign at 2.2 million pre-orders with a stretch goal of 2.5 million.
They created a sweepstakes at surprizeattack.com with a Blacks Ops theme, including daily intel that would be entered into a dossier file which housed information about limited edition, Call of Duty-inspired prizes.
The first prize was a limited edition poster featuring the epic “Sitting Bull” artwork that became synonymous with the game. On each poster were hidden codes that led to a secret website and a phone number repeating a cryptic recording. During this phase, 400,000 posters were given away.
In September, three top-secret operations were revealed. Over the next few weeks, the missions were activated and consumers were able to watch videos, download an exclusive wallpaper and scan reconnaissance photos to win a limited edition t-shirt, and view a viral video announcing the return of Surprize Attack.
The sweepstakes featured four major prizes hidden among daily secret giveaways, such as a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a fighter pilot training experience and a Call of Duty: Black Ops limited edition Jeep Wrangler, as well as 22,000 other prizes. Entrants were guaranteed one of four prizes, such as a 100 Microsoft Points card or a 12-month XBOX Live Gold Membership card.
GameStop ran a program with SCVNGR, a location-based game for iPhones and the Androids, with custom challenges for consumers to go to GameStop and compete for three rewards. By completing challenges and accumulating points, consumers could download a digital footlocker and take advantage of two offers: A “Spend $5, Get $5” deal and a 30% bonus trade-in coupon for any game.
Facebook, mobile and influencer campaigns supported the program. In the end, the pre-order total was just over 2.4 million, outdoing the Modern Warfare 2 record by 22.4%. GameStop exceeded its pre-order goal by 9.4%.