Electronic Arts Visits Malls to Connect with Families
For EA’s Xmas Experience Tour, the name of the game was sales. The strategy: a killer combination of multiple data collection points, instant purchase incentives, clever trial-to-conversion tactics and hands-on gaming experiences.
In its sixth year, the tour sought to entice serious gamers (16- to 30-year-old males), as well as families and casual gamers. The gaming brand traveled to six U.K. shopping centers and set up branded gaming kiosks for 23 days at each stop. Emcees worked the microphone to draw attention while staffers encouraged passersby to stop and jump into one of five gaming zones, which included: handheld gaming devices; social gaming tournaments, like the FIFA Interactive World Cup tournament; and a green-screen photo and video interactive where consumers could star in their favorite videogame then download their picture or video post-event. Consumers were also given vouchers with unique access codes, allowing them to download trial versions of EA Mobile games. Each game was available for 30 days before consumers were asked to purchase the latest version. Conversion from trial to full version was a whopping 62 percent.
The holiday sales strategy was live for 138 days. During that time the brand executed 320,000 demos, secured 11,000 data captures and earned $3 million in incremental sales—an impressive 4:1 overall return on investment.
EA credits its strong relationship with retail partners and game-savvy brand ambassadors with generating strong sales among casual and serious gamers alike. “Young lads will always come and play FIFA, but obviously we have a lot more casual games now,” says Penny Humphrey, Director of Retail and Experiential Marketing at EA. “With the Wii coming into the market, we really wanted to be a kind of resource for information and also of entertainment for people who don’t want to actually take part in the games [at the malls]. So the brand ambassadors gave advice to people on their needs and wants and then what console and what particular type of games would suit them.” Free gaming guides and a demo stage also gave non-gamers an opportunity to check out the world of gaming at a casual distance before buying.
To keep the momentum going after the events, EA sent consumers who signed up to be part of the EA community an email encouraging them to go online and download their photo or video and complete their EA Community profile. A second email was sent out one week later with a discount incentive made through an online retail partner.