STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP, Chicago / MICROSOFT / 2013
Digitally native and fearless with technology, Millennials explore culture, entertainment and gaming unlike any generation before. Racing simulation games, like Forza Horizon for Xbox 360, are just one of their chosen ways to escape for a few moments into a different world of fantasy and imagination. Music is also another means of escape and Millennials’ new anthem in the U.S. specifically is Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Spread through the power of technology, the social aspects of the internet and the growing popularity of EDM festivals imported from Europe, this genre has seen an enormous recent resurgence.
What’s unique about this is that Millennials have the ability to digitally immerse themselves fully into the lifestyle of their favorite artists and DJs. No other generation before could have such direct cultural access. Consuming both music and video content fluidly across screens and devices is second nature to this audience, giving them the opportunity to escape, if just for a few moments, from the stresses of life throughout the day.
We created an eight-episode web series called “Chasing,” sending music and racing game lovers on a high-octane scavenger hunt to find and win a VIP experience with DJ Steve Aoki. The series delivers on the adrenaline rush that comes with mixing speed, style, and fast beats on the open road and produced in partnership with Alloy and Fuse TV, this series allowed viewers to vicariously live the Forza Horizon lifestyle through the contestants’ adrenaline-packed journey. Teams had to solve clues and compete in larger-than-life challenges, like birthday cake diving and extreme go-kart racing, all for a chance to meet Steve at a live, VIP experience. By having the teams and host drive actual sports cars from the game and including Forza Horizon gameplay among the fun-filled challenges, while mixing in the hard-hitting beats of Steve’s music, we indulged viewers’ desire for adventure and rebellion.
Forza Horizon took center stage, standing out as the new racing game rock star on the scene. To date, “Chasing” has approximately 5m cumulative views (and counting). The episode featuring Forza Horizon game play has the most views of any episode outside the series premiere. Video units have outperformed industry benchmarks across the board, with click-through and interaction rates both at over 200% above norms.
In addition to being an online hit, “Chasing” also converted many into Forza Horizon Faithful. After experiencing the videos, people’s perceptions increased for Forza Horizon as an entertaining game and it increased their desire to buy it, with purchase intent lifts ranging from 50% to 80% after viewing. Overall, Paid media for Forza Horizon surpassed campaign goals and outperformed industry benchmarks across the board.
Aligning with buzz-worthy talent like DJ Steve Aoki and Smosh proved successful in driving social and PR chatter, generating over 46m earned impressions. This includes more than 3m organic blog mentions, 21m social impressions and 66 press pick-ups, including USA Today as a "Top Pick" and features in Adweek, TheInsider.com and Cynopsis. “Chasing” successfully tapped into a cultural moment in music with Millennials for Forza Horizon.