Challenge

Zero Friction, a Hong Kong-based company approached us with a challenge to make gaming popular in India. The route selected was to create the largest gaming tournament in the country and attract participation from hard core gamers. The goal was to use this tournament to reverse negative perceptions of parents towards gaming. Hence, make the appeal of gaming more main stream.

Solution

It was decided to call the property Vixture and our first task was to create the identity of the property. The strategic solution was jointly brainstormed between the client and the agency. The solution was to use prize money to attract participation. The thought was to change the perception that gaming was just a frivolous pass time for kids. And that it could be pursued as a serious sport and be considered as a career.

There were two pre-requisites to the same - the glamour of any popular sport to attract participation and endorsements from the right sources for parents to support it.

A 360 campaign was thus conceived to address the above. Media tie-ups with the Times of India and MTV ensured that there was a glamorous aura about the property. This translated to print ads in TOI supported by slickly produced TV spots on MTV and outdoors in 6 cities. To build credibility, there were aggressive press conferences in all 6 cities where eliminations were held for the event.

Digital media was used to drive the actual participation. This was done through influencer marketing where existing game bloggers were engaged to infiltrate discussion groups and blogs about the latest games. We generated participation from over 500 gaming groups across the country. 80% of this was achieved through digital media.

The grand finale was a large scale event in Mumbai at the World Trade Center. The finale was a huge hit as the event attracted some of the best gamers in the country. The MTV tie-up and the participation of MTV celebrities like Nikhil Chinapa, VJ Anusha and the Roadies added the much needed glamour. 50 lacs was given away in prize money, with a teenager walking home with 20 lacs as the first prize. The engine worked well, with BBC covering the event and getting bytes from parents stating that gaming had come of age. Hence, they wouldn't mind if their children considered it as a career.

Results

The strategic objective of making gaming mainstream was achieved, as evidenced from endorsements from the press. The participation targets were also exceeded and Zero Friction offered Think WhyNot a stake for deepening participation in their other properties.