Cannes Lions


UM, London / MICROSOFT / 2014

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By adapting the Konami Code into a discoverable ad-unit, we created #keycode – a completely new advertising format.

We built an unprecedented network of 20 major media owners whose content was trusted by hardcore gamers, such as, Gamespot, Eurogamer and Games Radar.

Visitors to these sites typed in the #keycode activation sequence to reveal a series of hidden screens each promoting a launch title for the Xbox One.

Our partners were so impressed by the creativity of #keycode, they agreed to run the unit 100% free with social support, an amazing offer, unprecedented in the industry!

We loaded it onto websites our rivals were focusing ad spend on, using #keycode to disrupt their advertising strategy – audacity that appealed enormously to the ‘winner-takes-all’ mindset of hard-core gaming fans.

To make the activity as niche as possible, we seeded the button activation sequence subtly through our network partners’ social communities.


• #Keycode contributed to an outstandingly successful campaign that made Xbox One the fastest-ever selling console at launch

• We created a major online mystery and social buzz, reconnecting Xbox with hardcore gamers

• We hijacked £millions of Playstation 4 branding in their launch week

• An investment of £30,000 delivered £205,000 in promotional and earned media value, which is an ROI of 485% on production invested

• #keycode was activated 15,000 times in a two-week period

• We delivered over 7.5 million organic social impressions from 2,500 Tweets, blog posts and other earned mentions

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