BLOG POST BY: Michael Oliver

CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT: CRASH BANDICOOT ON THE RUN

One of King’s headline game launches of 2021, Crash Bandicoot: On The Run was a campaign that would activate all arms of The Goat Agency, in order for it to be delivered in the strongest way possible.

The Objective

With the game launching on the 25th of March 2021, King tasked us with activating influencers across five key markets – UK, USA, India, Brazil and Mexico – to hype up and celebrate the arrival of one of the 20th Century’s most recognised IP’s on the mobile gaming scene.

While in essence, Crash Bandicoot: On The Run is a simple runner-style game, it has many nuances, such as different levels and maps to rank through, weapons to forge and bosses to defeat. The game provides the user with over 100 hours of unique gameplay, which offers up a number of creative angles for influencers to bring to life in various content forms. What we achieved was a full social campaign across YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

We took the brief away and worked with the strategy team at Goat to put together creative concepts that would be able to deliver content that would be bespoke to each influencer, whilst also remaining connected to the whole campaign across all markets, leaning on our insights team to understand the cultural differences across the territories we’re delivering in, knowing that one approach that may work in the UK won’t have the same effect in India or Mexico – and vice versa.

What We Delivered

Over launch week, we facilitated the posting of over 500 unique pieces of influencer and sport talent content. Delivering in excess of 100M impressions globally, 60M video views across all formats. We were ultimately able to drive over 1 Million tracked clicks to App / Play Stores and over 250,000 tracked game installs to date from our organic influencer and sport talent content – which is still climbing!

Once our launch burst had concluded, we then initiated our paid media strategy to retarget those who had been served our influencer content with more bespoke messaging, the aim of which was to encourage downloads of the game and drive even wider awareness of the launch.

The Campaign

Our headline creative to kick off the campaign was playing Crash Bandicoot: On The Run, whilst being ‘On The Run’. Hero influencers were contracted in each of our key markets to deliver this creative. Working closely with our operations team, we supplied all of these influencers with treadmills for them to be ‘On The Run’ whilst playing the game. Furthermore, we also provided influencers with bespoke foam items from the game, created and sent to help add another branded element to the creative. 

Any multi-market campaign presents challenges to the execution team to make things happen, but the added layer of sourcing products and arranging deliveries in four foreign countries all working on different timezones and speaking different languages presented a fresh challenge for our ops team. Able to locate regional providers to bypass customs regulations, we ensured that there would not be any unforeseen delays in the dispatch of any props and products required for content creation across the five markets.

Not only was this relating to the treadmills influencers would be integrating into the content, but the branded foam objects used to distract the runners from completing their challenge. Working closely with our design team, we mocked up renders of notable Crash Bandicoot items from the game – Wumpa Fruits, TNT Boxes, Wooden Crates and Nitro Crates – which were custom made and painted in line with the Crash game designs which would go on to add a subtle layer of branding within the content.

Running alongside these hero creatives, were a slew of other creators on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. The aim was to create additional video content highlighting the USPs of the game whilst showing off the immersive gameplay in the best way possible, encouraging their audience to go and download the game and play for free.

The Influencers

Ensuring we made the most noise possible, we looked to contract the biggest influencers in each market that had the right audience to promote the game. We consulted our CRM system at Goat to research influencers that would also be a fit for the campaign, using data from all of the campaigns run over the last five years, in addition to running fresh outreach in all key markets to get a better feel for the creators who could be interested.

Within the team responsible for executing the campaign at Goat, we set up smaller sub-teams that would be responsible for each market, each equipped with a local language speaking member of the team, so they could focus on securing the right creators for their market and scheduling them accordingly.

On the topic of content scheduling, working across markets meant staggered publishing times. The afternoon in London is evening in Mumbai, and morning in New York, so we had to adapt to the demands of each market to drive effective results. For example, we researched into YouTube culture in India and learned that content actually performs best when uploaded in the late morning, as opposed to the usual early evening content upload themes you find in the UK and USA. Our insights team helped us identify the best windows to push content live globally for our launch to maximise the effect of what we were delivering.

With over 120 influencers contracted as part of this launch, we wanted to make Crash Bandicoot: On The Run an unmissable game, literally and figuratively. We worked with all parties to schedule and align the majority of content to be pushed live over a four-day period from the launch on the 25th. We wanted to make as much noise as possible and ultimately drive a huge spike in downloads on the week of the launch. All posts from influencers were accompanied with unique tracking links, enabling us to attribute clicks and installs for each piece of content in real-time, which would help us take learnings regarding what content themes, styles and creatives were outperforming others, so we could double down on those for our subsequent pushes of activity.

Managing influencers of this scale across the globe in multiple time zones was an around the clock process for all members of the team, from those working with the influencers to get content created and pushed live, to those managing the logistics behind the shipping of products and facilitating filming.

It wasn’t just influencers who were activated during the launch. A separate budget was assigned to contracting a number of high-profile sport talent stars across our key markets to promote the game over opening week. From stars of the NBA to the IPL, we were able to secure 17 sporting talents to work on the launch, with the likes of Joel Embiid and Suresh Raina collaborating on the project, and again worked with them to isolate their high points of engagement and schedule posts for these times, dotted around their busy professional schedule.

Cohesive briefs, meticulous reviews and efficiently scheduled content gave us the utmost confidence in what we were delivering across the campaign, with the content produced delivering excellent results and ROI.

What is Next?

Now a month removed from our launch campaign, we’ve been able to take stock and review what was successful and what could be even more effective. Our next steps are to realign and optimise where necessary, and go again for the launch of Crash Bandicoot: On The Run – Season 2, with the intention of delivering another strong campaign for our friends at King.

All Posts
Written by: Michael Oliver

Campaign Manager at The Goat Agency