DANTE'S INFERNO by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for Electronic Arts

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DANTE'S INFERNO

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Creative Adam Heathcott
Photographer Aaron Lee
Released May 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Advertiser: ELECTRONIC ARTS
Product/Service: DANTE'S INFERNO VIDEO GAME
Agency: WIEDEN+KENNEDY
Date of First Appearance: May 14 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: WIEDEN+KENNEDY, Portland, USA
Associate Media Director: Alex Barwick (Wieden+Kennedy)
Media Supervisor: Danielle Pak (Wieden+Kennedy)
Media Planner: Chaucer Barnes (Wieden+Kennedy)
Group Media Director: Kelly Muller (Wieden+Kennedy)
Media Planner: Brian Reavey (Wieden+Kennedy)
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff/Susan Hoffman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin/Jason Bagley (Wieden+Kennedy)
Copywriters: Charlie Gschwend/Dan Kroeger (Wieden+Kennedy)
Art Directors: Dominic Orlando/James Moslander (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative: Adam Heathcott (Wieden+Kennedy)
Broadcast Producers: Endy Hedman/Monica Ranes (Wieden+Kennedy)
Digital Producers: Carl Whitehouse/Ryan Bolls (Wieden+Kennedy)
Developers: Ryan Bowers/Guillaume Matheiu/Joshua Perez/Laurie Brown (Wieden+Kennedy)
Studio Managers: Maya Roberts/Alicia Kuna (Wieden+Kennedy)
Designers: Karen Koch/Katie McHugh/Curtis Pachunka/Mark Lundgren/Erik Bald/Cathy Ormerod/Gr (Wieden+Kennedy)
Photographer: Aaron Lee (Wieden+Kennedy)
Digital Designers: Mirtho Prepont/Jason Strand (Wieden+Kennedy)
Sound Engineer: David Neevel (Wieden+Kennedy)
Account Director: Paulo Ribeiro (Wieden+Kennedy)
Account Management: Becca Milby/Philip Kirsch (Wieden+Kennedy)
Strategic/Interactive Planners: Matt Kelley/Jason Tarantino (Wieden+Kennedy)
Business Affairs: Stephen Duncan (Wieden+Kennedy)
Media placement: Mixed Media Campaign-Ramp up campaign - Direct Mail, Street Teams, Website/webfilm Targeted At Gaming/blogging Influence - June 3, 2009
Media placement: Gaming Console Campaign - Xbox Live, Playstation Network - December 24, 2009
Media placement: Online Banner Campaign - Complex Network, Crave Network, YouTube, IGN.com, Gamespot.com, GamesRadar.com, - December 8, 2009
Media placement: TV Campaign - Super Bowl XLIV, TNT NBA Allstar Game, Male-Focused Cable - February 7, 2010
Media placement: OOH Campaign - Wildpostings In 22 US Markets - February 1, 2010
Media placement: Print Campaign - DC Comics Centerspread Insert - February 10, 2010
Media placement: Paid Search - Google Search - January 15, 2010

Results and Effectiveness
Using only 1.5% of the campaign budget, our ramp up campaign generated more than 300MM media impressions, hundreds of articles from gaming and mainstream publications, over 100,000 game preorders, and over 4MM demo downloads (though only 1MM were forecasted). These efforts made Dante’s Inferno one of the most talked about releases of the year, each month further differentiating the title from its competition. Anchored by a category-exclusive spot in the Super Bowl, our launch campaign took full advantage of this chatter, while pushing broader audiences to purchase Dante’s Inferno, which, despite tepid critical reception, exceeded sales projections.

Creative Execution
We created a ramp up campaign that built frequency against vocal, influential core gamers for nine months prior to release. Each month, interactive experiences exploited the circles of Hell, using the correlating sins as an invitation to engage. Tactics included direct mail, viral videos, street actors, and interactive websites. As time passed, the media vehicles grew wider, including gaming console media and television as launch approached . The conversations, videos, and "unboxings" that our consumers created in reaction to our stunts continually surfaced in the gaming press and beyond, keeping Dante's top of mind as we layered in online banners, search, and console media. At launch, we took our message to the biggest audience of males aged 18-34 possible: the Super Bowl. Supporting male-focused TV, print and OOH punctuated our mass market aspirations, but with a nod to the core, we gave Xbox players a peek the day before the big game.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Our release window for Dante's Inferno was crowded with formidable competition from established franchises. We knew that they would use the same mass-media tactics that we would, but with added advantages of brand heritage and built-in fan bases. Our assignment was to differentiate from the competition and establish Dante's Inferno, a new franchise, as a must-have in mass gamers' minds. While we'd need to message early to establish mindshare among gamers, we had to conserve our dollars to ensure meaningful share of voice at launch. We knew our target of males aged 18-34 action/adventure gamers are heavily peer-influenced. Therefore, we looked to establish Dante's Inferno as a discussion point among gamers; provoking gamers to discuss the title online would create more media opportunities than we could afford, while fleshing out the game's story. With the game set in Hell, we had all the potential controversy we needed to ensure lively interaction.