Xbox Promo, Case study KINECT LAUNCH by Edelman New York

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Edelman New York
Account Supervisor Kristin Oke, Keith Carpenter, Meredith Williams, Joe Dimiero
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Launch or Re-launch
Advertiser: MICROSOFT
Product/Service: GAMES CONSOLE
Executive Vice President: Wayne Hickey (Edelman)
Vice President: Carrie Morris (Edelman)
Vice President: Ken Birge (Edelman)
Senior Account Supervisor: Jeremy Bartram (Edelman)
Senior Account Supervisor: Joel Rushing (Edelman)
Senior Account Supervisor: Hillary Klein (Edelman)
Account Supervisor: Kristin Oke (Edelman)
Account Supervisor: Keith Carpenter (Edelman)
Account Supervisor: Meredith Williams (Edelman)
Senior Account Supervisor: Cindy Davidson (Edelman)
Senior Account Executive: Julie Wilder (Edelman)
Senior Account Executive: Natalie Edwards (Edelman)
Senior Account Executive: Chris Contompasis (Edelman)
Account Supervisor: Joe Dimiero (Edelman)
Account Executive: Hailey Buser (Edelman)
Account Executive: Whitney Biaggi (Edelman)
Assistant Account Executive: Brittney Sochowski (Edelman)
Assistant Account Executive: Alyssa Oddle (Edelman)
Account Executive: Bre Wilson (Edelman)
Senior Account Supervisor: Shannon Chiger (Edelman)
Media placement: Magazine Preview Event - Details, Family Circle, Women's Health, Maxim, Complex, InStyle, Rolling Stone - 26 July 2010
Media placement: Action Consumer Events -,,,, CasualPerfe - 7 August 2010
Media placement: Tokyo Games Show - WIRED, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Reuters - 16 September 2010
Media placement: Countdown Press Release -,, Seattle Post Intelligencer, PC World - 18 October 2010
Media placement: Celebrity Preview Event - Access Hollywood, UsWeekly, - 23 October 2010
Media placement: Reviews Media Tour - USA Today, The New York Times, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicag - 25 October 2010
Media placement: Launch Press Release - Huffington,,, - 3 November 2010
Media placement: Boys And Girls Club Launch Event - Bloomberg TV, Life & Style, Fox - 3 November 2010
Media placement: Dance Party Launch Event - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, EuroGa - 3 November 2010
Media placement: NASDAQ Openning Ceremony - CNBC TV, - 4 November 2010
Summary of the Campaign
Use Kinect’s revolutionary controller-free technology to redefine Microsoft’s Xbox brand as entertainment not only for traditional gamers (young men) but a mass audience. The new customer: mom, dad, sister, grandparents =- everyone in key opportunity markets, worldwide.
Be the game changer, literally. At product launch, put Kinect in the centre of the home. Use dance, fitness and full-body play to reinvent games. Demonstrate the fun through direct consumer engagement, celebrity events, a comprehensive reviews program, philanthropy and aggressive news media outreach.
Exceeded global sales goal of five million units, reaching more than eight million in first 60 days, setting a Guinness World Record.
Sixty percent of coverage was in media that don’t traditionally cover gaming including U.S. consumer and entertainment outlets like Good Morning America, Oprah, Family Circle, Self, Women’s Health and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Fifty percent of product reviews appeared in broad news media. Seventy-seven percent of resulting reviews were positive, including front cover reviews in The New York Times and USA Today.
Secured 77 awards for Kinect including National Parenting Publications Awards’ (NAPPA) Gold Award, Popular Science “Best of What's New” Grand Award, and Time to Play People’s Choice Award.
The Situation
Xbox has been historically seen as a platform only for hardcore gamers. Microsoft recognized the need to broaden audience in order to grow the business.
Microsoft needed to shift brand perception but could not risk alienating the core hardcore gamer.
Kinect is one-of-a-kind technology offering fun for everyone. There are no controllers, no buttons to push, no pads to step on. As The New York Times described it, “There’s a crazy, magical, omigosh rush the first time you try the Kinect. It’s an experience you’ve never had before.”
The Goal
The PR campaign goal was to introduce a true game changer not just for Xbox, but for the gaming and entertainment industry. We sought to shift the perception of Xbox 360 from a hardcore gaming console to an entertainment device for everyone. In order to do so, we set out to:
1. Secure more than half of all Kinect launch coverage in mainstream consumer outlets
2. Focus on coverage in non-gaming media that would shift perceptions; build early buzz and drive consumer demand at retail. Goal: sell five million units between launch and January 1, 2011
The Strategy
Launch strategy, replicated in key markets globally, was to engage influencers, media and consumers with hands-on experiences:
• Keep it simple, social, fun. Xbox history: a solitary, hardcore gaming experience. Portraying every Kinect experience as fun and social was crucial to changing perceptions with non-gamers.
• Experiencing is believing. Controller-free gaming: a new category. Getting media and consumers playing was vital to bringing the magic to life.
• Make it visual, make it viral. It was impossible to get every consumer in front of Kinect. The next best thing: visual content that was easy to pass along.
• Create new heroes. New audiences required new advocates and heroes. Key emphasis: influencers who would reach these broader segments.
• Be an object of desire. VIP celebrity events provided exclusive access to new Kinect experiences. Early advocacy from these influencers deemed Kinect the “Must Have” for holiday.
• Destination Imagination: A “sneak peek” event months before launch with 160+ consumer media, influencers and celebrities.
• Action Consumers: Active, vocal influencers within target audience became brand ambassadors in key markets to help drive purchase intent.
• Reviews Tour: A media tour in eleven cities introduced Kinect to prominent journalists at 110+ publications.
• Celebrity Engagement: Two private celebrity preview events garnered early support and sparked consumer buzz and desire.
• Holiday Outreach: Aggressive campaign resulted in 1,302 stories across TV, newspaper, magazine and online media.
Events on November 3,2010 in New York counted down to launch on November 4, 2010:
• Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Partnered with organization and A-list celebrity Mark Wahlberg to announce donation of Kinect units to 4,000 clubs across the country.
• Dance Party: Pop stars Ne-Yo and Lady Sovereign held surprise performance in Times Square with 600 dancers.
Documented Results
Kinect was the biggest product launch in Xbox history. The New York Times said, “Kinect simply feels like magic.” Fitness magazine praised Kinect for “getting your entire body in on the calorie-burning action.”
• Sixty percent of coverage from outlets that don’t traditionally cover gaming, including consumer and entertainment outlets.
• Coverage included Good Morning America, Today Show, The View, Oprah, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, AP, Reuters, Access Hollywood, EXTRA, Women’s Health, SELF and Family Circle.
• Total reach of all launch coverage: 524 million in U.S.; global media reach of more than 146 billion.
• Cultivated 177 engaged consumer influencers including fashionistas, lifestyle gurus. This drove positive online conversation, growing the Xbox Facebook presence to more than four million fans.
• Exceeded projected sales goal of five million units, selling more than eight million units in the first 60 days - a Guinness World Record.