Cannes Lions

Skype Mascots

POSSIBLE, Seattle / SKYPE / 2016

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Skype set out to achieve the impossible: take a product people already loved and make them love it even more for entirely new reasons, all in tandem with a real-time event. After sharing mascots created based on real-time NCAA Basketball Tournament game outcomes, Skype invited its audience to make their own. They were excited to discover how easy it was to help build something uniquely theirs over Skype. Once each mascot was completed with details generated by users, fans got a unique link to a “Mascot Locker Room” Tumblr page, to see and share their mascot, and see the others. The customized mascots combined the most important factors in social—individuality and a connection to a live event—while highlighting the personal, one-to-one connection that only Skype can give its users.


First, March Madness fans heard about March Mascots via both social media and characters created in response to real-time March Madness conversations and game outcomes. Next, people downloaded Skype and added the March Mascots Skype ID as a Skype contact. Once connected, the March Mascots Skype ID asked users a series of fun questions over Skype IM and connected them with an illustrator. Live illustrators engaged with each person and worked with them to create a one-of-a-kind, personalized mascot, showing real time collaboration within the product. Shortly after, once each unique mascot was ready for the court, Skype got back to each person over Instant Messenger with a Tumblr link to their custom mascot they helped create, and a prompt to share it on their own social channels.


March Mascots scored big. Skype seamlessly led its audience from social media, into the product, and back again to share something they helped create. Over the length of Skype's social activation Skype saw a 264% increase in connected users and a 373% increase in product downloads from the app store. Skype worked with its fans every step of the way, making them feel like valued team members, leading to an impressive victory. By creating an in-app experience to highlight its under-utilized features, Skype made a personal and memorable connection with its followers. And that was the biggest win in the whole tournament.

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