Taking on the action for this highly inventive Hack-and-Slash adventure, Biff were invited to produce the complete UK and Ireland online campaigns for the Closed Beta, Open Beta, and Launch.
Utilising Key Artwork from the game, we were initially asked to create a suite of Google Display and Rich Media ads to drive Beta downloads. But for the Launch itself, the brief was to create high-impact, bespoke ad units, pushing the ‘Faction’ aspect of the game to drive sales. Add that to a dynamically changing message reflecting the various release states, and the gauntlet was down; the challenge well-and-truly on!
The Key Artwork was already very strong and Ubisoft wanted to achieve a high level of brand recognition. As the beta and launch campaigns were covering such a short space of time our vision was simplicity: utilise the artwork to support but not dominate the vital messaging. We added light, subtle animation techniques to draw the eye, the CTA was bold and clear.
The approach turned out to be so successful, especially on IGN, that the CTR on the immersive takeover was 12% vs. 1.5% benchmark!! Wikia also performed well – driven mainly by the Roadblock takeover – at 1.17% vs. 0.49% benchmark.
Each beta had three distinct phases for which the messaging had to change at a specific date and time. We built a system within the ad units which meant that we could preset these date/time changes so they would update dynamically without having to upload more than one creative or re-upload assets.
“The Beta ads were a huge factor in converting site visitors to players on the Closed Beta and Open Beta, especially with the Open Beta ads being able to direct users to the store pages via the multi-button creative approach. With the Betas being focused on converting a core gaming audience, it was a great to see high levels of engagement and high click through rates come through from this part of the campaign.”Will BuckBrand Manager - Ubisoft
The real punch of the campaign was ramped up on the Launch Ads: High Impact. Rich Media.
We wanted to fully engage the audience by creating an interactive concept where the viewer could choose a faction and get pulled into more about it: integrating video and a greater level of animation, to create a fuller atmosphere through the smoke, fog and fire. The beauty of this could only be really realised through close collaboration with the great people at Sizmek – where the immersive format was pushed to its limits, fashioning a never-before-seen interactive skin!
We were even able to adapt the interactive mechanic for mobile formats via both Sizmek and Celtra, enabling the idea to be experienced by all types of users.
Most excitingly, the concept was translated into full HPTOs (Home Page Take Overs) through a combination of dramatic key art animation, the Faction options, and even the ability to select an individual character to reveal their own video info spots. This level of drill-down, coupled with (in another proud world first) working directly with the publisher sites to get the format to run on their pages efficiently, created an approach and innovation that was responsible for over doubling the interaction rates (CTR 2.4x stronger than the benchmark).
“The HPTOs were a huge part of the campaign and really conveyed the messaging and tone we were looking for. The commitment from Biff, and the ideas they realised for us, clearly helped push the games messaging into a wider audience pool whilst also educating users on the game itself. It’s always great to include more immersive and interactive elements in display campaigns and the team at Biff delivered a AAA quality campaign as always, to match the new AAA IP.” – Will Buck (Brand Manager)Will BuckBrand Manager - Ubisoft