2019 Brand Experience & Activation

VISIT XBOX: THE BIRTH OF GAMING TOURISM

Short List
ClientMICROSOFT
Category B04. Use of Print or Outdoor
TitleVISIT XBOX: THE BIRTH OF GAMING TOURISM
Product/ServiceXBOX ONE X ENHANCED
Entrant McCANN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation McCANN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Production McCANN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 CRAFT LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 3 FIRE WITHOUT SMOKE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 4 MOMENTUM WORLDWIDE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 5 CLOCKWORK Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA
Additional Company MRM METEORITE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Additional Company 2 ATTENTION SEEKERS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Rob Doubal McCann London Chief Creative Officer, McCann UK, and Co-President
Laurence Thomson McCann London Chief Creative Officer, McCann UK, and Co-President
Sanjiv Mistry McCann London Executive Creative Director
Jamie Mietz McCann London Executive Creative Director
Jim Nilsson McCann London Copywriter
Jacob Björdal McCann London Art Director
Jim Nilsson McCann London Director
Jacob Björdal McCann London Director
Karen Crum McCann London Head of Strategy
James Appleby McCann London Senior Planner
Fanni David McCann London Senior Planner
Thomas Keane McCann London Planner
Dan Howarth McCann London Head of Art
Matthew Thomas McCann London Designer
Nazima Motegheria McCann London Designer
Clare Prager McCann London Project Director
Anna Curtis McCann London Project Manager
Rob Smith McCann London EVP & CCO, McCann UK
Sailesh Jani McCann London Managing Partner
Nicole Robinson-Spaude McCann London Senior Account Director
Lynne Carter McCann London Account Director
Andy Wynn McCann London Account Director
Robert Stockton McCann London Senior Account Manager
Conor Lloyd McCann London Senior Account Manager
Anastasia Imam McCann London Account Manager
Lucy Manning McCann London Account Manager
Eloise Thompson McCann London Account Executive
Sergio Lopez Craft/McCann Chief Production Officer EMEA
Sophie Chapman-Andrews Craft/McCann Lead Executive Producer
Kin-man Ly Craft/McCann Executive Producer
Ellis Faint Craft/McCann Head of Studio
Alex Dougan Craft/McCann Head of Studio
Alex Dougan Craft/McCann Producer
Harvey Winter Craft/McCann Junior Producer
Jeremy Reichman Craft/McCann Producer
Liam White Craft/McCann Print Producer
Angelo Tsolkas Craft/McCann Producer
Pam Oskam Craft/McCann Art Buyer
Julie Hughes Craft/McCann Art Buyer
John Martin Craft/McCann Studio Imaging Director
Rob McDonald Craft/McCann Senior Retoucher
Matt Dollings Craft/McCann Senior Editor
Paul Jenkinson Craft/McCann Senior Editor
Sabina Dallu Craft/McCann Editor
Holly Webster Craft/McCann Creative Researcher
Robbie Maynard Craft/McCann Print Studio Manager
Tai Smith Momentum Creative Technologist
Duncan Harris Freelance Photography
Josh Taylor Freelance Photography

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

‘Visit Xbox’ is relevant for Brand Experience & Activation because it let the world experience a games in a completely different way: as tourists. To promote graphically enhanced games to a new audience, Xbox transformed into a travel brand across every touchpoint, letting people experience gaming tourism through live-stream guided tours of games and the first-ever travel guide to games, co-written and published by Rough Guides. The executions didn’t just establish Xbox as the ultimate platform for beautiful gaming worlds, they droves sales of our destinations.

background

Xbox’s belief is that gaming should be for everyone. Yet for decades, videogame marketing has always focused on hero characters, guns and explosions. But gaming has become so much more. The graphics in Xbox games are now almost life-like, open-world games are vast, and developers are increasingly including photo modes in their games. How could Xbox attract a wider audience who didn’t care about guns and bombs?

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

To bring in that new audience, we created a brand new reason to buy videogames. Not to play. To visit. Xbox transformed into a travel brand, promoting not the gameplay, but the locations available in games – all built around a groundbreaking partnership with one of the world’s biggest travel guide publishers, Rough Guides. Together, we created 'The Rough Guide to Xbox', which functioned like a travel guide to a country (what to see, when to go, what to buy etc.), but for the first time, this advice was entirely for virtual worlds. It changed how customers experience games, and we amplified that shift across all channels, with tourist board-style commercials and OOH ads, experiential in-game guided tours, selling console bundles as package holidays and even applying for official tourist board accreditation.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

To promote Xbox One X Enhanced games, Xbox faced a tough challenge: how do you promote complex technical benefits like 4K, HDR, and 60 FPS, to a mainstream audience? Xbox had to look beyond the normal way of promoting games. To justify the purchase of Xbox’s high-spec console and games, we had to get people to appreciate Xbox One X Enhanced games in a new way. So Xbox decided to transform into a travel brand, thereby changing how people discover, experience, and purchase games. We no longer promoted games – we promoted destinations. These beautiful game locations spoke to the audience on an emotional level, giving them a new reason to buy Xbox One X Enhanced games: not to play, but to visit.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

Xbox collaborated with Rough Guides to do something they'd never done in their almost 40 year history of publishing travel guides: create a fully-functioning Rough Guide to virtual destinations. Our writers and researchers spent months exploring Xbox's worlds, noting down points of interest in order to make the 'Rough Guide to Xbox' work as a genuine reference book and travel companion, just as a 'Rough Guide to Paris' or a 'Rough Guide to Italy' would. Except the villages to explore, monuments to visit, sights to see and info on money, accommodation and getting around are all in Xbox's richly-detailed games. Each chapter is about a different Xbox game, and gives the reader vital travel advice for that world - from hidden bars to grab a drink in Sea of Thieves, to elusive wildlife to spot in Anthem, to unmissable churches and temples in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

List the results (30% of vote)

- Debuted in 29 countries and counting. - 4x average response rate - 55% increase in traffic