EDELMAN, London / XBOX / 2021
After a 7-year silence in the region, Xbox were finally ready to launch their powerful Xbox Series X|S and games package.
The 2020 lockdowns have increased demand for gaming. New audiences were emerging.
Xbox had diminished status in the gaming market.
Covid meant usual launch methods like large-scale live events and product demos, were off the table for the media or gamers.
How could Xbox triumph within this unpredictable lockdown market with a killer launch that would re-establish it as a market leader within gaming?
• Launch the Series XIS, focussing on innovation and excitement
• Execute a unique, multi-faceted product launch and comms strategy that would deviate from the norm and make Xbox stand out to new audiences and the media
• Engage and excite a core audience with a spectacular launch moment, with the normal rule book thrown out the window
2020 blurred our reality in a bad way. The new powerful console from Xbox would blur dreams with reality in a good way. We couldn't show this physically. What if we allowed for the new gaming universe to bleed into the real world?
We created ‘Dreams Within’: An interactive virtual experience that redefined remote audience engagement. Brought to life by a 14-foot-high holographic black box made of four 4K projectors to replicate the iconic design of the Xbox Series X console. It was the centrepiece of a six-hour giant audio-visual experience that showcased the console's power, putting first-look gaming demos out at scale and giving everyone an epic glimpse at the Xbox Series X|S look, and the dreams (games) within.
A livestream from the monolith connected us with massive online audiences in real time, spreading the hype with gaming enthusiast presenters, gaming demos, live interactions and competitions.
Existing gaming enthusiasts and potential gamers.
Tech media, enthusiast gamers and content creators don’t want a press release. To show Xbox as an innovative leader in gaming, we had to be the innovation. The virtual launch event had to be big enough and cool enough to reach people at home.
The quality of the ‘Dreams Within’ installation was vital to success. We needed a show-stopping epic build, beautifully crafted visuals, seamless technological delivery and powerful, adrenalin-fuelled demos to highlight the product’s USPs. Planning, 3rd party buy-in on uses and first-class tech production combined to deliver the vision.
We laid the groundwork for Xbox’s brand narrative, with a targeted advocacy and media strategy:
- Educating analysts in advance
- Courting media relationships
- Securing buy-in from senior execs globally for off-the-record briefings
- Full interviews at launch
- Media training for the Xbox’s UK market leadership
We created a spellbinding digital scene, transforming the London skyline into an epic spectacle.
• 14ft high
• Four 4K projectors
• Binaural soundtrack
• Location: One New Change, with St Pauls Cathedral behind
• 6 Hours of live content broadcast on Twitch, counting down to the launch moment
• Spellbinding audio-visual show from monolith at launch moment
• Realtime Twitch, Twitter and YouTube interactions
• Forced perspective projections
• Real-time visual effects
• Holographic translucent display
• A.I. generated music
• Dolby Atmos 3D audio
• New VFX technique incorporated to create a truly unique viewing experience
• Stunning projection content with calculated forced perspective allowed us to capture the installation from multiple camera angles, while overlaying real-time visual effects to create a world-first holographic display
• Projection content orientated around mind-bending visuals that encompassed the history of Xbox (flagship game franchises, the new console’s games and its unique characteristics)
• AI-generated Dolby Atmos 3D soundtrack mirrored the immersive audio capabilities of the console
• Twitch audiences could get their names projected in real-time onto the monolith, becoming a part of the experience
• Social competitions visually connected to the installation
• The interactive livestream culminated with a hero projection: a dazzling audio-visual spectacle bringing the worlds of Xbox to life
• Twitch partnership inc. homepage takeover
• 3 custom media buys, including dedicated auto-response and speed-test, guaranteeing share of voice and engagement
• Wide-spread media alert announcing the launch three days before
• Images and video sold into media on launch day
• Background briefing Xbox CFO
• Xbox briefings with consumer media
• Interviews with key media targets
‘Dreams Within’ was Xbox’s biggest launch in its 20-year global history.
It became the most successful UK Xbox launch of all time, with the Xbox Series X|S selling out in minutes, and a record level of engagement at launch.
• Product sold out in minutes
• UK broadband data use record broken by launch
Reach & Engagement:
• 22M+ campaign content views
• 850K livestream views
• 1M+ interactions on “Dreams Within” content across social platforms
• 180K Competition Entries
• #DreamsWithin trended on Twitter In the UK
• 26 earned media articles about or containing “Dreams Within” content, with a combined reach of 282M
• 18 pieces of interview-driven content at launch
• Interviews with key media targets including, BBC, The Economist, The Guardian, WIRED, Eurogamer, GamesRadar, EDGE Magazine and Press Association
AKQA, San francisco
BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY, London