Xbox Promo KINGMAKER by McCann London

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR
Market United Kingdom
Agency McCann London
Creative Director Brian Fraser, Simon Learman
Creative Lewis Plummer, Mark Rowbotham
Released October 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best use of Social Media Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser: XBOX
Product/Service: FABLE III
Date of First Appearance: Oct 5 2010
Entrant Company: McCANN LONDON, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Entry URL:
Strategy Director: Tom Rothenberg (McCann London)
Strategy/Creative: Peter Bardell (McCann London)
Lead Art Director: Matt Statham (McCann London)
Lead Copy Writer: Chris Mcdonald (McCann London)
Lead Programmer: Stefan Feissli (McCann London)
Creative Technologist: Lewsi Taylor (McCann London)
Lead Producer: Pip Shepherd (McCann London)
Project Manager: Myles Hocking (McCann London)
Programmer: Stuart Lodge
Production Company: Grapple Mobile
Production Company: Unit 9
Creative Director: Brian Fraser (McCann London)
Creative Director: Simon Learman (McCann London)
Media Strategist: Scott Holmes (Universal McCann)
Head of Production & Technology: Mark Fallows (McCann London)
Creative: Lewis Plummer (McCann London)
Creative: Mark Rowbotham (McCann London)
Partnerships Director: Maria Alvarez (Universal McCann)
Consultant: Jason Barrett (McCann London)
Account Executive: Michael Burgoyne (McCann London)
Media placement: Press Ad - OXM, Xbox 360 Magazines - October 2010
Media placement: Banners - Future Publishing Network - October 2010
Media placement: Website - Online - October 2010
Media placement: GAME Mailer - Existing Customers - October 2010
Media placement: Homepage Takeover - Total Film, CVG - October 2010
Media placement: Advertorial - Future Publishing Network - October 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
Launching the third instalment of a game is notoriously difficult; especially in the intensely competitive pre Christmas market when a game is launched, on average, every day. To make Fable III a success we had to –
1 Shift perceptions of Fable III making it accessible for people who dismissed the franchise as being too niche and complicated
2 Ensure stand out by simultaneously driving huge editorial and PR noise in relevant media whilst genuinely engaging our target market.
We needed an idea that would bring people into the franchise through the mantra of “experience not message”

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
This approach led to our creation, Fable III: Kingmaker – a massively multiplayer GPS smartphone game that preceded the launch of Fable III. A hybrid between Foursquare & the classic board game Risk, and based upon a core theme of Fable III – revolution – Kingmaker set two armies to battle across Europe. For the first time ever, players could – by planting virtual flags on their mobiles to claim land for their side – earn gold that they could later spend in Fable III. Linking their actions to social media multiplied their gold thus incentivising people to share news of our game for us.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
Drawing on peer-to-peer recommendation was crucial in getting our audience to shift perceptions. Kingmaker as a world first, would by its very nature spread awareness across social media. The key however was rewarding players with extra gold for spreading news of their actions on twitter and facebook. With this we had incentivized gamers to spread news for us whilst also providing a pre-release incentive to buy Fable III. We had created an economy where we paid gamers to do our marketing across social media by giving them gold that they held in great value but cost us nothing.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Fable III went straight to No. 1, selling more Xbox copies than same-day-released, license-backed Star Wars and WWE games combined, up 100% compared to Fable 2’s first week. (Source: Microsoft Game Studios)

The app entered the iTunes store at No. 13, and maintained 70% active engagement 2 months later; in perspective, only 5% of apps are used 20 days post download (Source: CNET)

Kingmaker delivered +20 million social media impressions, garnering an 85% positive score.

Earned media value was over five times total program cost.