Campaign: Xbox 360 / Crackdown 2 Launch Promotion
Client: Microsoft / Xbox
The launch of Xbox’s Crackdown 2 game needed a big push. It had been three years since the original Crackdown and the long-awaited sequel had gotten forgotten behind other game launches.
In Crackdown 2, gamers are challenged to play as super-powered vigilantes tasked with taking back control of Pacific City – by any means necessary. The team adopted this mindset for the campaign, entitled ‘Justice. By any means necessary’.
Objectives were to restore awareness and develop excitement for the game’s release among 18-34 year-old “core gamers” through an interactive, emotionally engaging activity.
The agency proposed a two-pronged plan of attack to increase both exposure and engagement. Part 1 involved piggybacking on a promotion in progress: The DUB Show Tour, a traveling custom car show and hip hop concert that reaches multi-cultural audiences nationwide. The game shared key demographics with DUB.
A tour takeover was planned that included on-site activation, an online re-skin, an exclusive magazine feature and a national sweepstakes for a 2010 Ford Mustang designed like the Crackdown 2 Cruiser. The car giveaway fit naturally with the DUB car culture and garnered broad attention.
DUB provided access to massive audiences, a benefit for promoting part 2 of the plan: a Twitter Hunt. Called ‘Keys to the City’, clues were seeded on Twitter, driving people to five cities: Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Boston.
Crackdown 2 included a component called ‘Own your City’. Keys to the City brought the game component to life by giving participants the freedom to own their city through compelling prizes, including concert tickets, Fandango gift cards, cash cards, quick serve restaurant certificates and the ultimate prize – an exclusive Crackdown 2 Xbox 360 console.
The Keys to the City Twitter Hunt was the first promotion executed through the Xbox Twitter account and set the standard for socially driven programs at Xbox. The campaign also leveraged the Xbox Facebook page, with its more than 1.4 million fans, plus the Major Nelson Twitter account (the face of Xbox LIVE) that had more than 130,000 followers.
The campaign garnered 14.3 million impressions and a 6:1 ROI ratio for a $209,000 investment. It also became the standard for several future Xbox game releases and sports promotions.