From Comic-Con to E3, video gaming conventions are more popular than ever. Drawing thousands of attendees each year, they offer prime opportunities for brands to connect with avid gamers on their passion points. But these diehard fans know their favorite franchises inside and out, making authenticity paramount to building a successful activation. For brands looking to gain ground amongst this finicky but powerful demo, we offer three tips for winning over the gaming community.
1. Evoke Nostalgia
Nothing excites veteran gamers like reintroducing classic titles from their past. That’s exactly what Pizza Hut did as title sponsor of the RTX 2015 video game and digital video festival. The brand’s #RetroBytes Arcade and gaming tournament gave attendees the chance to compete against each other, as well as some of their favorite Internet celebrities, in classic arcade video games like Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat and Pac-Man. On the last day of the festival, the final four competitors played for the title on the RTX Center Stage, as the contest was live-streamed on YouTube.
2. Let Them Become Characters
Video game developer Square Enix turned this year’s Comic-Con International activation into an immersive set of physical challenges that allowed gamers to channel their favorite characters by recreating popular game sequences. Through the brand’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided engagement, attendees could assume the role of agent Adam Jensen and taking on the Icarus Dash. In addition, its The Rise of the Tomb Raider installation challenged consumers to channel their inner Lara Croft by taking on the Glacier Climb and scaling a 30-foot-high wall, replicating the game’s opening sequence. Authenticity? You betcha.
3. Engage the Senses
Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare experience at E3 last year engaged fans through multisensory experiences referred to as “dramatic agency.” A six-minute COD: Advanced Warfare engagement drew spectators into the game through an immersive presentation that included quaking floor rumblers, fog, lighting effects, rushing winds and pyrotechnics. Those elements took the show beyond a “uni-sequential” narrative, such as one experiences while reading a book or viewing a movie, to a “multi-sequential” one, in which attendees feel like participants in the story as it unfolds.