2021 Brand Experience & Activation


Product/ServiceXBOX SERIES X|S
Category D04. Digital Installations
Production UNIT9 London, UNITED KINGDOM
Additional Company 23RDC London, UNITED KINGDOM
Additional Company 3 TRUE STAGING Billericay, UNITED KINGDOM
Additional Company 4 WAVE STUDIOS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Judy John Edelman Global Chief Creative Officer
Mattias Ronge Edelman EMEA Co-Chief Creative Officer
Stefan Ronge Edelman EMEA Co-Chief Creative Officer
Jamie Cordwell Edelman Creative Director
James Donovan Edelman Client Lead
Greg Hemes Edelman Agency Producer
Juan Posada Edelman Art Director
Sean Cullivan Edelman Copywriter
Adam Jenkins Edelman Social Lead
Will Beckett Edelman Communications Lead
Alisdair Gray Edelman Editor
Sam Bateman Edelman Marketing Lead
Trista Szocs Edelman Console Lead
Paul Almond Xbox Communications Lead
Sean Pruen Xbox Creative Director
Izzy Kertland Unit9 Executive Producer
mark Logue Unit9 Technical Executive Producer
Amanda Boyd Unit9 Senior Producer
James Murry Xbo Business Director
James Dyer Unit9 1st AD
Simon Elsbury Unit9 DOP
Amy Dyson Edelman Social Lead
Ed Downham unit9 Sound Engineer
Rebecca Boswell Unit9 Producer (Sound)

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

‘Dreams Within’ was an interactive virtual experience that redefined remote audience engagement. The 14-foot-high holographic black box made of four 4K projectors was the centrepiece of a six-hour giant audio-visual streamed interactive experience that succeeded in re-establishing Xbox as an innovative leader in the gaming space, and resulted in the most successful UK Xbox launch of all time. The virtual experience achieved 22M+ content views, 850K livestream views and 1M+ interactions across social.


CONTEXT After a 7-year silence in the region, Xbox were finally ready to launch their powerful Xbox Series X|S and games package. OPPORTUNITY The 2020 lockdowns have increased demand for gaming. New audiences were emerging. CHALLENGE Xbox had diminished status in the gaming market. Covid meant usual launch methods, like large-scale live events and product demos, were off the table for the media or gamers. THE ASK How could Xbox triumph within this unpredictable lockdown market with a killer launch that would re-establish it as a market leader within gaming? OBJECTIVES • Launch the Series XIS, focussing on innovation and excitement • Execute a unique, multi-faceted product launch and comms strategy that would deviate from the norm and make Xbox stand out to new audiences and the media • Engage and excite a core audience with a spectacular launch moment, with the normal rule book thrown out the window

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

INSIGHT 2020 blurred our reality in a bad way. The new powerful console from Xbox would blur dreams with reality in a good way. We couldn't show this physically. What if we allowed for the new gaming universe to bleed into the real world? CREATIVE IDEA We created ‘Dreams Within’: An interactive virtual experience that redefined remote audience engagement. Brought to life by a 14-foot-high holographic black box made of four 4K projectors to replicate the iconic design of the Xbox Series X console. It was the centrepiece of a six-hour giant audio-visual experience that showcased the console's power, putting first-look gaming demos out at scale and giving everyone an epic glimpse at the Xbox Series X|S look, and the dreams (games) within. A livestream from the monolith connected us with massive online audiences in real time, spreading the hype with gaming enthusiast presenters, gaming demos, live interactions and competitions.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

AUDIENCE: Existing gaming enthusiasts and potential gamers. APPROACH: Tech media, enthusiast gamers and content creators don’t want a press release. To show Xbox as an innovative leader in gaming, we had to be the innovation. The virtual launch event had to be big enough and cool enough to reach people at home. ACTIVATION: The quality of the ‘Dreams Within’ installation was vital to success. We needed a show-stopping epic build, beautifully crafted visuals, seamless technological delivery and powerful, adrenalin-fuelled demos to highlight the product’s USPs. Planning, 3rd party buy-in on uses and first-class tech production combined to deliver the vision. PR/MEDIA STORYTELLING: We laid the groundwork for Xbox’s brand narrative, with a targeted advocacy and media strategy: - Educating analysts in advance - Courting media relationships - Securing buy-in from senior execs globally for off-the-record briefings - Full interviews at launch - Media training for the Xbox’s UK market leadership

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We created a spellbinding digital scene, transforming the London skyline into an epic spectacle. BUILD: • 14ft high • Four 4K projectors • Binaural soundtrack • Location: One New Change, with St Pauls Cathedral behind EVENT: • 6 Hours of live content broadcast on Twitch, counting down to the launch moment • Spellbinding audio-visual show from monolith at launch moment TECH: • Realtime Twitch, Twitter and YouTube interactions • Forced perspective projections • Real-time visual effects • Holographic translucent display • A.I. generated music • Dolby Atmos 3D audio SOCIAL: • Twitch partnership inc. homepage takeover • 3 custom media buys, including dedicated auto-response and speed-test, guaranteeing share of voice and engagement • Wide-spread media alert announcing the launch three days before • Images and video sold into media on launch day MEDIA: • Background briefing Xbox CFO • Xbox briefings with consumer media • Interviews with key media targets

List the results (30% of vote)

‘Dreams Within’ was Xbox’s biggest launch in its 20-year global history. It became the most successful UK Xbox launch of all time, with the Xbox Series X|S selling out in minutes, and a record level of engagement at launch. Impacts: • Product sold out in minutes • UK broadband data use record broken by launch Reach & Engagement: • 22M+ campaign content views • 850K livestream views • 1M+ interactions on “Dreams Within” content across social platforms • 180K Competition Entries • #DreamsWithin trended on Twitter In the UK Coverage: • 26 earned media articles about or containing “Dreams Within” content, with a combined reach of 282M • 18 pieces of interview-driven content at launch • Interviews with key media targets including, BBC, The Economist, The Guardian, WIRED, Eurogamer, GamesRadar, EDGE Magazine and Press Association