The Drum Awards Brand Strategy Awards Case Studies

Behind Bidstack and Starcom Worldwide's Paco Rabanne VR experience starring Tim Howard


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 8, 2022 | 5 min read

Paco Rabanne, along with Bidstack and Starcom Worldwide, earned Most Effective Use of VR and AR at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022 for ‘The scent of victory.’ Below, we lay out the campaign’s path to triumph.

tim howard

Star soccer player Tim Howard stars in 'The scent of victory' / Credit: Paco Rabanne

Leading up to the holiday season of 2021, Paco Rabanne had a new fragrance to debut: ‘Invictus.’ The fashion house partnered with Bidstack and Starcom Worldwide to make Invictus the first fragrance to create a sporting challenge in the metaverse.

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The brief

Paco Rabanne wanted to elevate Invictus above competing scents. Ideally, it would engage the brand’s target audience through their passion points (soccer, sports and nutrition) in novel environments. The brand wanted consumers to compete in an Invictus-branded, virtual training platform and competition, called the ‘Invictus challenge,’ alongside star goalkeeper Tim Howard.

While the campaign targeted mostly males, Paco Rabanne also wanted to target female consumers who may wish to buy the scent as a gift.

The team planned for in-game placements in 19 critically-acclaimed franchises, including Dirt Five, Top 11 and Football Manager.

The idea

Bidstack and Starcom Worldwide agreed that gaming was an ideal means of interacting with a growing, elusive and diverse audience, and developed a strategy that would tie Invictus to both sports and gaming through an immersive gaming experience.

The team would do so through two streams: first, seamless brand activations across a range of formats (such as PC, VR, console, Cloud and mobile devices), then a collaboration between VR training platform Rezzil and soccer icon Howard.

The results

The in-game ads evidently led to a greater purchasing intent, with 24% of viewers saying they were either “likely” or “very likely” to purchase from Paco Rabanne. Over 38% said the product was high-quality, and another 23% trusted the brand.

Each player spent over 20 minutes engaging with the in-game ads, and over 15,000 people engaged in the VR challenge, comprising over 17,000 game sessions.

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This campaign won at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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