Microsoft Surface Boot Camp Deploys Game Play Tactics
When it’s time to bring a new version of a beloved video game franchise to market, getting the attention of jaded gamers while introducing new systemic capabilities is no easy task. But that’s exactly what Microsoft pulled off with its Surface Boot Camp, which leveraged the then unreleased Halo: Spartan Assault game to entice retail sales professionals to drive sales of the Surface RT platform.
The brand threw out the traditional training methods that usually take place in retail environments for new product launches. The boilerplate tutorial videos and PowerPoint briefs got pwn’d and replaced with an immersive experience designed to excite the sales force instead of boring them. In each of the 11 target markets in North America, the brand transformed a venue into a badass Microsoft Surface Boot Camp, where brand “Drill Sergeants” guided the attendee “Cadets” through five activation areas: Registration, Orientation, Waypoints, Graduation and Social Activation. Each waypoint served as an interactive training session focusing on Mobility/Durability, Productivity and Entertainment. Groups of cadets had to answer questions to show understanding of the material before advancing to the next waypoint.
Upon completion, cadets moved to gameplay, where they spent 30 minutes blowing stuff up with the unreleased Halo: Spartan Assault. After the gameplay, the cadets graduated and were issued their “weapons”: a Microsoft Surface RT. In all, the Boot Camps trained more than 1,000 sales professionals and the brand’s expectations for the cadets trained were exceeded by 216 percent. Game on.