How do you launch a game that fans are already using? This was our challenge in releasing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One. While the game was one of the most hotly anticipated titles in Microsoft’s 2019 line up, a ‘test’ version of the game had been available to the public for almost a year and was readily accessible on other platforms. Our task was twofold: we needed to build buzz about a game that people were already playing and ensure Xbox was part of the story.
We knew our biggest asset were the superfans – and if we armed them with the right story they would tell it for us. We also had two strong creative elements to work with. There was the iconic design of the Xbox controller and the popularity of the on-screen message that appears when you win a match in the game – ‘Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner’ – which had become a cult phenomenon in the gaming community.
These insights led us to the creative idea of launching The Greaseproof Controller – a limited edition Xbox controller painted in a trademarked coating that literally repelled grease. With only 250 available, the control was designed to allow our super fans to keep playing – even once they’d won that elusive chicken dinner. Our audience can spot disingenuous marketing from a mile away. To engage them, we created a suite of premium content assets for use across earned and social outreach, including nine images and a slick video showing the controller alongside either chicken or grease. To drive the story, we encouraged fans to make these assets their own.
We generated more than 160 pieces of coverage with 100 per cent key-message inclusion. Of these, 84 pieces were shared to public social newsfeeds, creating more than 500 million opportunities to see the story through editorial. It transcended the gaming press, including a dedicated segment on Channel 10’s news and current affairs show, The Project. It also reached beyond Australia with coverage from international top-tier millennial media including HYPEBEAST and UNILAD.