A08. Excellence in Audience Engagement or Distribution Strategy for Branded Content
MY LIFE AS A NPC
DDB PARIS, FRANCE
DDB PARIS, FRANCE
MAKEMEPULSE Paris, FRANCE
PRESS PLAY ON TAPE Paris, FRANCE
THE Paris, FRANCE
Executive Creative Director
Sonia Dos Santos
Director Media & CRM
EMEA Brand Manager
Studio Press Play On Tape
Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?
For the first time, we promote a video game without talking about the hero. Instead, we focused on the virtual people of the game, the Non-Playable Characters, that no one really cares about and listen to. With MY LIFE AS A NPC, we change the tone of gaming communication and communicate the way people do on social networks but from the point of view of virtual people living in the game, which is just like breaking the fourth wall of gaming.
When you have to communicate on an adventure game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you often emphasize on the hero, the villain or the amazing landscape you will explore. But when you have done that for more than 15 years on your most important licenses, how do you keep gamers excited? Video games have the most complicated and fickle audience. They are smart and they hate any sort of marketing. Ubisoft asked us to rejuvenate their target for the launch of Odyssey and keep the audience attracted by their license in a very competitive market were gamers don’t buy more than 2 games per year.
Describe the creative idea
MY LIFE AS AN NPC is a social campaign in which dozens of Non-Playable Characters from Assassin’s Creed took over Ubisoft’s Instagram and Facebook to tell us what their life in the game looks like in a funny, quirky and offbeat way. Through their stories, gamers can realize what a shepherd feel when a player mows down his herd of goats, learn more about a spartan who can’t never take his helmet off, or listen to an angry potter who can’t bear the hero’s behaviour anymore. With MY LIFE AS A NPC, the extras of the game that no one really cares about, had their say for the first time.
Describe the strategy
We targeted a large scale of gamers, the one who knows the license since ages and a new generation of players, and we concentrated our communication where the gamers talk, and fight about which games is the best: The social network.
By bringing these Non-Playable Characters to life and giving them a voice, we were able to show the diversity and depth of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey environment and virtual world. Moreover, we communicate the way people do on social networks but from the point of view of virtual people living in the game, which is just like breaking the fourth wall of gaming.
Describe the execution
Through a virtual casting all over the Ancient Greece, we select a courtesan, a spartan, a potter, a shepherd, and dozens of NPCs from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Then, we have brought them to life thanks to a new mocap animation technology. We shape their personalities, their attitudes and their expressions to make these characters larger than life. For one week, they took over Ubisoft’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to create a “laughing out loud snackable campaign”. MY LIFE AS A NPC was launched in October 17th 2018. 10 days after the Assassin’s Creed release, in order to push the sales during a period where there was a big word of mouth around this video game.
Describe the outcome
MY LIFE AS A NPC is the best social campaign ever made for Ubisoft with an all-time high engagement rate (+138%) from the gamers. Launched in 20 countries, the campaign gets an organic reach on Facebook (3,7M) and Instagram (2,5M). Launched in 20 countries, each one adapted our videos and kept posting 3 stories every day for a week.
It’s a best case for the brand because we have generated a lot of conversations, positive for 80% which is quite unusual for a communication of video game and not bad for characters that usually nobody cares about.