Hackable ad campaign created to promote Watch Dogs video game launch

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

June 4, 2014 | 2 min read

Watch Dogs, the new video game from Ubisoft , has created an ad campaign with Shazam which allows fans to ‘hack’ the ads in order to win prizes.

The game sees protagonist Aiden Pearce exact revenue on those who hurt his family by hacking into their lives, so the hacking campaign ties in to the key element of Watch Dogs.

Wayne Greenwell, brand manager for Watch Dogs at Ubisoft, said: “Watch Dogs is a brand new IP for Ubisoft and is set to be one of the biggest titles in our history. The themes of the game have allowed us to be creative and innovative with our approach to reaching our audience. By including the use of a second screen to interact with our advertising, we have given users the opportunity to experience a fraction of the power that Aiden Pearce enjoys throughout the game.”

The Shazam app gives radio listeners across Kiss, Kerrang!, XFM and the Capital Network the chance to access promotional content for the game via their smartphones and tablets while the ad is on, while digital ads feature a QR code reader to help users ‘hack’ the ads via their mobile in the vein of Aiden Pearce, altering the layout of the webpage and bringing the concept of the game to life.

Media planning and buying for the campaign was handled by Maxus.

Chris Collins, account manager, Maxus, said: “Young gaming audiences demand surprising and innovative ways to capture their imagination. Our media strategy allowed us to bring the game to life through original and innovative use of a multi-platform approach allowing consumers to interact with the campaign on several levels.”

Ubisoft is also promoting the game in GAME stores using Near Field Communications (NFC) and QR Codes. This campaign incentivises gamers who “tap-in” and interact with the brand using their smartphones with a chance to win a trip to Chicago. It will be promoted using in-store posters with the underlying technology provided by Proxama’s TapPoint platform

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