Sony Playstation Promo, Case study THE KILLZONE ULTIMATE RECRUITS by Manning Gottlieb OMD London

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Manning Gottlieb OMD London
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Other Consumer Products (including Durable Goods)
Product/Service: KILLZONE 3
Date of First Appearance: Dec 20 2010
Head of Media Creativity: Michael Florence (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Communications Planning Manager: Julian Leeper (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Digital Planning Director: Dan Van Leeuwen (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Strategy Director: Chris Timpson (Candyspace)
Account Director: Nick Shadbolt (Candyspace)
Account Manager: Kate Sutherland (Agency Republic)
Media placement: Online - Seeding Of Transmedia Game - 20th Dec 2010
Media placement: Press - Seeding Of Transmedia Game - 20th Dec 2010
Media placement: Mobile - Seeding Of Transmedia Game - 20th Dec 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
How we took inspiration from The Marines to turn KILLZONE 3 into a blockbuster.

Super-Influencers had never taken to KILLZONE 1&2
KILLZONE is a first-person shooter PlayStation game. KILLZONE 1&2 had been average-selling games, never achieving endorsement from gaming's Super-Influencers.

Super-Influencers can make or break a game
They are gaming's elite, informing the opinions of mainstream gamers. Many work in the gaming media and all are highly active and opinionated in gaming social media.

Key Insight: Super-Influencers think of themselves as the Marines of the gaming world

Strategy: Behave like the Marines

Idea: The KILLZONE ‘Ultimate Recruits’ Boot Camp

We worked with the game’s developers to allow for an elite force of 500 Ultimate Recruits, who could start the game at launch with far superior characters than anyone else. We then set up a trans-media challenge, combining in-game, online and real world experiences to find these recruits.

Creative Execution
A call to arms
A challenge was posted across influencer gaming communities. Additionally Super-Influencers were identified and sent exclusive draft letters.

Creating a Marine-like gaming culture
Just like the Marines would, we ensured that recruits were rigorously pushed to their limits. Recruits were set three initial tasks linked to the game.

1. Navigation. Recruits were challenged to find symbols in fake websites using Google Maps.
2. Intelligence. Mock newspaper websites were set up and recruits had to identify which were propaganda and which were not.
3. Espionage. Recruits had to seek out a hidden mobile phone number, call it and decode the message

Weeding out the inferior gamers
They then had to pass a fourth test of Battle tactics, playing a beta-version of the game.

Rewarding the elite
The top 500 recruits graduated to a live gun range, firing a massive gun from the KILLZONE game.

Results and Effectiveness
Massive social influence
Fully informed on all the new aspects of the game, Super-Influencers became KILLZONE’s evangelists – writing articles, blogging, posting on forums, status updates, and tweeting.
14,808 recruits signed up through Facebook Connect and they influenced 2.8m further Facebook contacts.

Explosive headline news
The idea made headline news across the gaming world. The PR generated equated to ten times the value of our media budget.

Influencing the Mainstream
Awareness of the KILLZONE franchise increased by 63%.
KILLZONE 3 was rated 9/10 in all major mainstream reviews.

Creating a Blockbuster
KILLZONE 3 became a Double-platinum selling game in double time.