Cannes Lions

Buff Your Main

ALMAPBBDO, Sao Paulo / UBISOFT / 2023


1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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In recent years, having a sedentary lifestyle has become a growing issue across all demographics. Studies suggests that this behaviour is leading to the rise in cases of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. There are several reasons why many young adults spend several hours a day sitting down, from working to watching TV to gaming.

As it is recommended that adults practice at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity per week, anything we can find to encourage people to exercise more is welcome.

Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers in the world, responsible for multiple franchises (Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six, and more), wanted their player base to find a healthy balance between gaming and physical activities.


Gamers are used to spending hours and hours in-game to develop and/or unlock improvements for their characters.

With “Buff Your Main,” we made it possible for gamers could dedicate some of their playing time to go to a gym and train to unlock in-game rewards, just as if they’d kept on playing. Each routine unlocked items and experience points that boosted the physical abilities of their main character in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

This way, they’d have an extra reason to avoid having a sedentary lifestyle, while still having the feeling of making progress in the game. After all, gamers love to be challenged and complete tasks. And we were able to put those things together.


Our target audience was composed of young adults in metropolitan areas, given the availability of nearby gyms at different cost ranges, making it easy to access for anyone who wanted to participate. They also needed to have interest in games, especially adventure games and RPG, to be targeted. We also reached out to players from our consumer base, via email.

The first approach was made through bumper ads and display media, instigating their curiosity about how they could improve their characters in game and leading to the website platform that explained how Buff Your Main worked.

We also had minor gaming streamers and influencers talking about participating in Buff Your Main on their social media profiles, mostly focused on explaining the mechanics and ease of use.


We started by creating a website where users could create an account to participate and track their training sessions. In the logged area, they could see available nearby gyms to train. After they checked in there, they’d have to work out for at least 30 minutes to become eligible to claim a unique code that could be used to redeem an item on the Ubisoft platform.

Each user could claim each item once, for a total of 3 items per user. After a user claimed all 3 items, they could still train and get rewarded with XP Boosts, which helps to level up faster by giving a character more experience points.

After the website was done, we kicked off our media strategy to let gamers know about it. One week in, we had our influencer squad talking about it on their profiles.


As of today, 5,762 accounts have been created on the website and 77% of users have worked out and claimed three or more rewards on the platform. The consumer response was overwhelmingly positive, with <10% of negative comments about the rewards, mechanics and/or overall experience.

32% of the participants claimed to have changed their routines to work out at least three times a week, hitting the goal of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Within the first month, 90% of the available items were claimed for a total of more than 25,000 rewards, encouraging Ubisoft to take the format to six other key countries (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Japan) in the second semester of 2023.

In 2024, Ubisoft plans to extend it to other titles and implement seasonal objectives, keeping players motivated throughout the year.

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