With 10 million consoles expected to be sold by holiday, Xbox 360 has defined the next generation of gaming and now Microsoft is unveiling a new global Xbox 360 marketing campaign to continue the console’s incredible momentum. Microsoft and its creative partners AKQA and McCann-Erickson have developed a new advertising lineup extending to cinema, interactive, print, street and television media. Revolving around entertainment for everyone and playing with friends in fun, new ways, the first television spots began airing this week in the United States and viral campaigns are underway.
“We continue to raise the bar of what is considered ‘next generation’ with our game titles and console experiences, and we are pushing creative boundaries with how we communicate to consumers,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing, Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. “These campaigns will cement Xbox 360 as one of the most recognizable, worldwide, youth-focused, consumer brands – one that brings the next generation of console gaming to everyone.”
The award-winning marketing team, fresh off of a Silver Lion win at Cannes, multiple One Show awards for interactive excellence and a National Gold ADDY for “Best of Show,” from the Xbox 360 launch campaign applies new elements to Xbox 360 packaging, advertising, web and retail. The advertising elements are comprised of an expansive range of work, from live action video and interactive online efforts to innovative storytelling done using scripts acted out within a game engine with the Microsoft Game Studios’ title, “Gears of War®” from Epic Games.
Specific executions include:
· Cops and Robbers – Another creative example of the “Jump In” Xbox 360 brand campaign, the premise reflects a grown up version of a childhood game. Shot by Australian director Garth Davis, the ad was filmed in Bucharest, Romania. A three minute short film version of Cops and Robbers will debut exclusively on Xbox Live Marketplace within the coming weeks and will be available online through several sites including Xbox.com.
* Next Generation Now – Whether it’s Xbox Live, where friends can connect and play anytime, wireless accessories offering more freedom than ever before, or the variety of high definition games and video content – the Xbox 360 experience truly defines the next generation of gaming and entertainment. The Next Generation Now executions include online, print, and television spots individually showcasing the breadth of next generation features that Xbox 360 is offering today, such as: Xbox Live, HD DVD, wireless accessories, Xbox Live Vision Camera and games for everyone at every price including the Platinum Hits program.
* Gears of War – The award winning title from Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games is expected to be the blockbuster game of 2006. Microsoft’s creative partners used innovative techniques to tell stories about the lead character of the game, Marcus Fenix. Using a script acted out in the Unreal Engine 3, developed by Epic, these spots were not created from footage pulled by a game operator. This intensive method is similar in process to the way today’s animated features are created. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, with consultation provided by David Fincher, the commercial for cinema and television was produced by Digital Domain in Los Angeles. The recently launched “Gears of War” site, www.gearsofwar.com, immerses gamers through a series of disturbing flashback videos that foretell various aspects of the game’s storyline and highlight the uniquely destroyed beauty of the games environment.
* Viva Piñata® – “Viva Piñata, the mass-appeal game at the cornerstone of the effort to broaden the appeal of Xbox 360 to younger and more casual gamers, is the first time Microsoft has integrated the development of a game with an animated TV series. The campaign includes a commercial for television designed to capture the imagination of kids while making a connection to the brand’s mischievous characters, by showing what would happen if a piñata suddenly found itself in the real world. Using complex 3D character animation, www.vivapinata.com offers a variety of ways to explore the exciting and expansive world of Viva Piñata online. Visitors can partner with characters from the game to paint their own desktop wallpaper, learn to dance and create their own music video they can then share with the rest of the world.
“Our goal is to appeal to consumers emotionally with brand ads like Cops and Robbers that inspire them to jump in to our community while also appealing to their rational side by showcasing all of the individual ways we are offering the next generation of gaming and entertainment right now,” said Bell.
Xbox 360 has defined the next generation of console gaming with high definition content and wireless experiences. It continues to build its lead online with more than six million Xbox Live subscribers expected by next June. This holiday, Xbox 360 is communicating a clear message to consumers that the next generation is about your games, your friends, your choices and your experiences -- right now.