Warner Bros. Promo, Case study BATMAN – ARKHAM CITY by Sid Lee Montreal

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency Sid Lee Montreal
Director Julien Rocher
Creative Director Guillaume Bergeron Sid Lee
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Media, Arts and Entertainment
Product/Service: VIDEO GAME
Agency: SID LEE
Creative Director: Sid Lee (Sid Lee)
Director: Julien Rocher (Astrolab)
Media placement: N/A - N/A - N/A

Summary of the Campaign
To kick off the ‘Pour un avenir moins sûr’ campaign, a special stunt was conceived for the 8 most influential bloggers in the video-game world. First off, they received a strange parcel containing a mask of one of the Joker’s henchmen and a tape recorder. When they pressed play, there was a message from the Joker himself, asking them to meet at a secret location in Paris in the middle of the night. On that day, to their surprise, an old bus stops abruptly in front of them, and the Joker’s gun-toting henchmen get off and escort them on board. Once on the bus, a new film from the Joker explains their mission: they’re going to have to put on their masks and break into a bank in order to finance the Joker’s propaganda campaign. The bus brakes in front of a bank, then the henchmen gives them weapons and orders them to run to the bank. They take part in the break-and-enter: windows are smashed, gun fire is exchanged with the security guard who’s been tied up, the alarm goes off, one of the walls explodes, and the metal-covered door is sawed open. The bloggers must fill bags with money while the Joker’s men keep watch. They take off on the bus, which drops them off at an abandoned warehouse. There, the Joker addresses them one last time via an old TV. He’s thrilled about the money they’ve stolen and asks them to recruit as many followers as possible online, as they will help with the electoral campaign.

The Situation
For the launch of the video game Batman Arkham City, we started the 'Arkham activist' OP, which consisted of recreating the major phases of an electoral campaign:

- Put up posters: the users themselves printed posters for the campaign in real time.
- Make a splash: the users could then control a giant paintball machine, which fired on a billboard with each click and revealed the campaign message.
- Release balloons: each user click released a toxic balloon filled with a red gas over Paris, in real time.
- Make a speech: each user click set off a ticking time bomb, letting the Joker make his way into the Élysée, where the president of France resides, and give a speech.

The Goal
The objective was to present a pre-launch OP for the RP. Our goal was to launch an immersive story around the Joker’s propaganda campaign ('Pour un avenir moins sûr'), all the while positioning the 8 bloggers as his first followers, and inciting others to go to the website and want to be a part of it.

The idea was also to give the bloggers some rich, personal content worth sharing on their own blogs.

The more global objective was to generate as much buzz as possible around the launch of the game.

The Strategy
Bloggers who specialise in video games are a very well-informed target. They’re used to having the big brands in the industry try to win them over, so that they’ll talk about them. Our strategy, however, was to have them live an exclusive, personalised experience of what would later be offered to the online community, plunging them into a real-life action movie. Our objective was not to make them want to talk about our OP, but to talk about the amazing experience as a whole.

The idea was for the Joker to incite them with messages aimed at recruiting as many followers as possible.

Our objective was to plunge the bloggers into a mystery world. Right away, they receive a mysterious parcel at their door.

First surprise: the Joker addresses them directly.

Second surprise: while they’re waiting to be taken out for an RP evening, they get picked up by a bus full of the Joker’s henchmen.

Third surprise: they think they’ll be assisting with the bank robbery, but they actually turn out to be the ones behind the whole thing - the ones carrying weapons in the streets, the ones smashing the bank windows to get in, the ones shooting and the ones stealing the money.

Finally, the next phase of the campaign is not communicated to them by Warner’s marketing team, but by the Joker himself, who doesn’t request that they write an article, but rather recruit as many people as they can on their blogs.

Documented Results
Great feedback from the 8 bloggers, who didn’t talk to their followers about a classic OP, but rather shared with them an unbelievable experience. And finally, results unlike any other RP campaign, and one which addressed only 8 bloggers.