Holmes Report 06 May 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
During the summer of 2010, on an international market packed with ‘casual games’ – 400 casual games being developed and launched every year on major web portals only, Mobil 1 was launching internationally the Mobil 1 Global Challenge video game.
Mobil 1 - the world’s leading synthetic motor oil and technological partner of McLaren Team in Formula 1 - had created a simple, online and free F1 racing game; each market had its own language version and its own launch.
With no prizes to give out, we’ve crafted a social media campaign centered on engaging content created not by the brand, but by celebrity bloggers.
Authoritative bloggers and Formula 1 pilots, they all competed against each other into The Global Challenge Game Tournament Mockumentary Viral Video – a parody of the typical documentary on Arcade game tournaments. The video was shot very much like a reality show, the participants were genuine and natural and unleashed to the public the hidden dynamics between their real-life personas.
Further to the viral video release, each and every blogger started their own ‘best-score crusade’ on blogs, Twitter, Facebook: “Challenge me, can you beat my score?” Within 3 weeks, over 185.000 Romanians had played the game.
2010 Special 310 report on copyright released by IIPA and Casual Games Association provided us with consumer insights.
• Romania is on the 9th place in the world in volume of illegal (p2p) game downloads per capita, so a free game is not that appealing.
• In Romania, the medium to high income 25+ aged players prefer console games.
Attitudinal objective: associate Mobil 1 with F1 and the professional world of racing. Behavioral objective: make 100.000 online users play the Mobil 1 racing game within 3 weeks & generate consumers’ feedback (at least 200 comments).
Mobil 1 was at its first attempts at starting a conversation with Romanians in the social media. We’ve partnered with the most different and authoritative celebrity bloggers and the only Romanian pilots competing in professional racing. They were the campaign publishers as they had several online platforms at hand. Passionate about cars, racing and video games, they created engaging content not only around the game but also rooted in their social lives.
The Global Challenge Game Tournament Mockumentary Viral Video – a parody of the typical documentary on Arcade game tournaments.
As participants were split into 3 teams, rivalries and envies would arise during the short interviews following the playing sessions when participants analyzed their competitors’ playing behavior and skills. At the end of the day, only enjoyment remained, participants happily giving their opinion on the video game.
All game-promotion ideas were conceived around the mockumentary.
Medium to high income 25/40 y.o. men, racing-game passionate, whose car is part of their identity; not fully educated on why Mobil 1 is better than the competition; they form their daily reality from online news.
Mobil 1 uses Formula 1 as the ultimate testing ground for end-consumer motor oil. Experience it by playing Mobil 1 game.
No functional message on the particular Mobil 1 products was communicated.
Social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), online editions of print magazines, game websites, auto portals, print men’s and games magazines.
Execution. Online promotion.
September 11. To start creating the Formula 1-Mobil 1 context in the minds of consumers, we invited 2 bloggers (also present in the mockumentary) to experience the Monza race live and report on it. Live tweets and posts followed.
October 1-3. Bloggers released the mockumentary teasers (cuts from the viral video). Each blogger used the potential of teasers in different ways. For example, one blogger launched a contest: “Who can guess what it is that we’re doing in the film? The 3 smartest answers will be awarded with an interview on my blog”.
October 5. Bloggers published the full viral video mockumentary spiced up with their own personal story on the filming experience and the video game skills.
Instantly, viral video started being linked by other authoritative blogs.
Other promotion ideas to maintain momentum:
• Playboy, main men’s magazine, organized a Mobil 1 Global Challenge competition within their own editorial office, reporting on the fun they had. The article generated buzz on dozens of blogs as the very editor-in-chief was beaten at driving by the Playboy Bunny.
• Celebrities challenged their thousands of friends personally on Facebook, posting “beat my score” messages on their Wall. Updates on local celebrities ranking positions started to flow on Twitter, FB or blogs.
• A dozen of video game sites and auto sites seeded the game.
Difficulties faced by PR Agency:
• On occasions, the game’s loading time took more than 15s when loading it for the first time. Moreover, Romanian variant of the game was programmed by a different Agency, so we had no control over the programming bugs.
• Pieces of coverage: 113
• Views of the local viral (including teasers): over 15.000
• Over 200 comments
• Over 100 FB likes
• 78 tweets generating 175.283 Twitter impressions
• Total Reach*: 6.052.236
• Total PR Value: 73.492 Euro (no Social Media results measured, only online portals & online editions of print & print)
• ROI: 480 % (excluding Social Media measurements)
• Number of total players: 185,058