Take a bite of the Honeyfruit: how Riot Games brought an iconic in-game fruit to life
BBH Singapore and Jack Morton Worldwide won the ‘Culinary Experience’ category and ‘Product Launch/Relaunch Experience of the Year‘ at The Drum Awards for Experience with its work for Riot Games. Turning a virtual fruit, an iconic power-up from the game League of Legends, created a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the game’s eleventh birthday. Here, the team behind this winning entry explains the thinking behind the campaign.
At a time when the rest of the world was moving physical experiences into the virtual, we brought a virtual fruit into the real world to reignite interest in an 11-year-old game.
In gaming, a category desensitized to stunning visuals and cutting-edge graphics, we engaged gamers in a totally unexpected way by letting them experience a literal taste of the game.
Finally, in giving Honeyfruit an otherworldly taste that was different with every bite, individual fans received a highly intimate and personalized brand experience. No two people received exactly the same taste of Honeyfruit.
League of Legends has been around for 11 years. So, in 2020, when Riot Games wanted to release a mobile version of League called Wild Rift, we needed to find a way to reignite the imagination of fans about the world of the game. At the same time, we needed to intrigue new mobile gamers who were unfamiliar with League and intimidated by its legacy. Our main objective was to get gamers talking about Wild Rift - from influencers and creators with massive reach, to individual players.
To launch League of Legends: Wild Rift, we gave gamers a literal taste of the game by bringing a virtual fruit from the game into the real world. This was an experience unlike anything gamers had seen in 11 years of League of Legends. We were launching a game by launching a fruit.
We gave the fruit a complex otherworldly taste that was impossible to describe, so everyone had something to say about the fruit, fueling intrigue and speculation as more and more people wanted to taste it for themselves. We had created an edible hype drop - everyone wanted to taste the magic, and once they did they wanted to tell everyone.
This caused an outpouring of taste tests, reaction videos and reviews on social media, from both influencers and creators and ordinary fans. Since everyone got a different experience, everyone had something different to say.
Our goal was to get gamers talking about Wild Rift, a game they thought they knew. So we created an experience that we knew gaming fans would love to talk about - a chance to eat a piece of a fantasy world. What was especially compelling about this was that because our activation was a literal physical fruit you had to eat, it could not be shared digitally. However, the experience of the fruit could be.
This meant we made 10,500 Honeyfruits, and everyone who ate one become a walking media platform, sharing their personal magical experience on their social media platforms and through taste test videos, reaction clips and tweets.
This served to drive intrigue among gamers who missed the experience. Now the only way they could snag a taste was in the game itself.
To ensure that Honeyfruit’s taste was otherworldly, we worked with a world-class chef. We gave him the mission of bringing a virtual fruit, a power-up from the game, to life.
Using molecular gastronomy, he captured the magical taste of Honeyfruit by seeding it with microbeads of flavor that made it taste different depending on how you bit into it. It was a constantly shifting mixture of sweet, spicy or fizzy.
But it wasn’t just about the fruit. Atmosphere mattered too. Honeyfruit was served out of a Honeyfruit Cart, a vehicle that looked like it rolled out of the world of League. The cart’s staff were dressed in fantasy gear and the decor of the cart was designed to evoke a mystical fantastical world. Easter eggs and lore details from the game were scattered everywhere, giving gamers endless photo opportunities that also drew them into the world of the game.
10,500 Honeyfruits were distributed and consumed and this inspired a massively positive response among gamers who shown up in droves at the event, with queues stretching around the block. The campaign earned a juicy 4.4m media impressions and 1.7m social impressions within 2 weeks. This in turn helped fuel Wild Rift’s rise to the top spot in the app store.
This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.