Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Marketing APAC Marketing

Inside Arena Breakout x Grab’s unconventional, reality-bending partnership


By The Drum, Editorial

May 30, 2024 | 5 min read

Winning The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC’s Gaming Gold is Arena Breakout x Grab: an unconventional partnership that erases the line between in-game and real-life from GrabAds, Tencent Games and Morefun Studios Games. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of award-winning work

Example of award-winning work

Challenge & Objective

In December 2023, Tencent Games launched a pioneering marketing campaign for its mobile game, Arena Breakout, in collaboration with Grab, one of the largest SuperApps in the country. Tencent Games set ambitious objectives: to acquire new users, create immersive in-game experiences, and ignite social media buzz.

Faced with the challenge of low player engagement and a saturated market of first-person shooter games, Tencent Games aimed to ignite the gaming community by bridging the gap between gaming and real-life engagement.

SEA’s gamers need fresh, exciting content for a memorable gaming experience.

Insight & Approach

Drawing on valuable insights, Tencent Games identified that users were driven by real-life rewards and were more likely to engage if rewards were linked to their everyday lives. Leveraging the extensive digital native user base of Grab, a leading SuperApp in Thailand, Tencent Games forged a strategic partnership. The collaboration aimed to blur the line between in-game and real life, creating an augmented world within Arena Breakout.

Tencent Games and Grab created a flywheel of value creation between in-game and real life:

  • Make the game part of a real-life activity: Incentivizing in-game tasks with tangible, real-life rewards. In-game items themed around Grab’s Intellectual Property (e.g., Grab delivery bag), an iconic item in Thais’ everyday life.
  • Make daily activities part of the game: Offering exclusive in-game items for completing real-life tasks, such as food orders through Grab. Users could redeem GrabReward points for in-game currency.

This approach erases the separation between in-game and real life, creating an immersive and memorable experience for gamers.

Campaign Execution

Execution of the idea was meticulously planned, seamlessly connecting Grab and Arena Breakout, blurring the boundaries between in-game and real life. The campaign intertwined rewarding users who completed real-life challenges with in-game items and also gamers who completed the in-game tasks with real-life vouchers.

A targeted media mix, including GrabAds, amplified the campaign's reach, ensuring widespread visibility among Grab's high-quality user base.

Arena Breakout used Grab’s native image ad format to get prominent awareness across the Grab App, an everyday-everywhere companion to Thais. Native image ads were distributed in high visibility and attention placement on the Grab App such as the homepage, in-transit page, or notification.

Arena Breakout drove consideration and engagement through the Arena Breakout Challenge on Grab, where users completed daily tasks (such as ordering Grab food) to claim limited edition bundle items and redeem GrabReward points for Arena Breakout’s in-game currency and items.

Arena Breakout also incorporated the real-life aspect of Grab into the game, drawing on the insight that Gen Z, a key target segment of Arena Breakout, is familiar with food delivery service. Arena Breakout created in-game Grab-themed gameplay and H5 events, encouraging players to reach level 5 to win Grab vouchers, creating real-life rewards for completing in-game tasks.


With Grab-themed gameplay and vouchers integrated into Arena Breakout, Arena Breakout achieved mutual app downloads with Grab on the Apple Store, becoming the “Today’s Highlight” app on the Apple App Store, signaling a significant uptake in user acquisition.

The campaign also gathered a lot of interest on social networks. A TikTok hashtag showcasing the campaign became Tencent Games’ top social engagement post, garnering a staggering 274 million views. User engagement soared, with a notable one-fifth of players sharing the campaign with their friends.

Moreover, the Grab Challenge saw remarkable participation, with 85,000 users joining and 28,000 completing tasks to claim Arena Breakout awards.

  • 5,000 prizes on Grab were redeemed within 1 week, a 100% completion rate.
  • Grab’s high-quality user traffic and themed gameplay resulted in 20% higher engagement than the global average.
  • This is truly a win-win partnership as Grab observed a 2.13X average order value uplift amongst Arena Breakout challenge users vs the average Grab Unlimited users.

This campaign epitomized innovation by seamlessly integrating gaming and real-life experiences, achieving a win-win situation for both media owner and game publisher. With its transformative approach and exceptional results, Tencent Games’ Arena Breakout campaign stands as a testament to creativity and effectiveness in marketing, deserving recognition and acclaim.

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Marketing APAC Marketing

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