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Assassin's Creed – Explore ancient Egypt

Assassin's Creed – Explore ancient Egypt | Ubisoft | BleuBlancRouge
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basics
Industry: Toys & Games
Media:Cyber
Market:Canada
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
Assassin’s Creed is one of the most successful video game franchises. Nevertheless, it hit a slump after a decade, and sales began declining year over year. This was attributed to the failure of two successive Assassin’s Creed releases to live up to the hype of their trailers. Ubisoft took an unusual two-year break before launching Assassin’s Creed Origins. This demonstrated to fans that the publisher had put greater effort into this new release—particularly because it was billed as a rebirth of the saga. We were tasked with proving to gamers who had lost trust in the franchise that this new Assassin's Creed was worth their attention. In other words, our challenge was to generate hype that gamers could believe in. The objective was to restore trust in the franchise. The measure of success was to sell more copies of Assassin’s Creed Origins than the previous release, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
Strategy
Throughout its history, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has both gained and lost its fair share of fans. Our target audience was lapsed Assassin’s Creed players. To find them, we identified still-active gamers who had played at least one franchise release in the past but neither of the two latest releases. Those who had stuck with the franchise through thick and thin were our most vocal proponents and lucky for us they are very active on social and love to be the first to share information on promising upcoming games and, most importantly, they have the ear of both our types of lapsed players. To succeed we knew we would have to target our existing fans first and allow them exclusive access so that they could be first to spread the word about the new release.
Relevancy
Tired of unrealistic, exaggerated gameplay in trailers promoting new versions, gamers have been losing trust in publishers. In fact, Ubisoft had been unfairly singled out for this practice. Our campaign eschewed the typical bombastic trailer in favour of simply inviting gamers to take a tour of the game’s actual build. No smoke, no mirrors, just an authentic immersive experience that lets gamers discover the gameworld like tourists. In other words, we provided the experience and gamers provided the voice. The social networks of our fans would become our biggest channel in this campaign.
Outcome
The visits were opened three weeks before the game was launched. Due to the core concept of limited tour availability, they created a spike in engagement with the audience. On average, visitors spent 14 minutes on the tours, an impressive result when you consider the 6.5-second average for skipping content. Fans shared thousands of “stories”, generating most of the reach through social, earned media. Most importantly, as it was not Ubisoft but actual gamers who shared this exclusive game content, we completed our objective of restoring trust in the franchise. Together with other brand efforts around the world, this campaign contributed to achieving the best-ever launch of an Assassin’s Creed game. Some 1.5 million units were sold in the first week, which is twice as much as the previous title of the saga.
Execution
We created three themed tours, shot directly within the game engine so that the game would look exactly as it is. At the centre of this tour experience, we implemented the social media trend of 2017: an Instagram story-like feature. Explorers could record instant memories, customize them with stickers, and just like in real life to make the rest of the world envious, they could share them on social media. Since the tours were private and limited (with a first come, first serve mechanic), we attracted the franchise’s biggest fans (always in the know) to our website. Then over ten days, the limited 30-person group tours went on. As they continued, mini-videos showcasing exclusive content from this highly anticipated game started popping up on social media, shot and shared from the tours, by the fans, making them the best possible brand ambassadors among their friends and in the gaming community.
CampaignDescription
As our research showed that gamers did not trust Ubisoft’s traditional trailers, no matter how good they looked, we went with a different approach and designed an experience that would inspire gamers to create shareable, social, snackable pieces of content. Assassin’s Creed Origins claims to be the most accurate reproduction of ancient Egypt ever made. With its wonders of ancient civilization, Egypt has always been a favourite of tourists. So we thought that if this game is as close to reality as it claims, why not let people visit it as tourists? We launched ExploreAncientEgypt.com, a website where gamers could book immersive guided tours within the actual game build. There they could explore never-before-seen regions of the game map and bring back digital memories in the form of Instagram and Facebook-like stories that they could customize and share everywhere on their social platforms—just as any excited tourist would.
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Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze Media
Use of Branded Content created for Digital or Social
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