To launch the upcoming game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, video game-maker Ubisoft is leaning heavily on Facebook to target ads at specific types of gamers. While that fact alone isn't very interesting, what is interesting is that the social network is affecting Ubisoft's entire marketing strategy, including its TV creative.
In May, Ubisoft ran a weeklong campaign promoting Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands—which is billed as its biggest action adventure ever—making it the first video game brand to match up the platform's segmentation tools with custom bits of video.
"For the Ghost Recon campaign, we combined a segmentation entirely built on Facebook insights with customized creative—the creative was tailored for each segment we identified through the segmentation analysis," explained Franco de Cesare, head of console and online gaming at Facebook.
The campaign targeted three different types of gamers: tacticians, competitors and explorers. Tacticians were identified as people who love science and technology, while competitors like adrenaline and action. Explorers are more likely than other groups to respond to entertainment and games that let them explore and move around.
Ubisoft used those insights to craft separate videos for each demographic. For instance, in the creative targeting tacticians, a drone appears in the intro of the clip. For competitors, the creative showed an explosion. The video game-maker then compared the videos against a generic trailer for the game.
The segmented video ads increased awareness 14 percent among the competitors group compared with the generic video, specifically, while the videos targeting tacticians boosted purchase intent by 63 percent.
What Ubisoft learned about specific types of gamers led to the creation of a TV spot to market the new game.
"The segmentation used on Facebook is not directly tied, but the insight around one of the segments helped in building our TV campaign creative," said Jill Steinberg, vp of media and promotion at Ubisoft.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands launches in March for Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. In addition to the Facebook campaign, there was also a media push at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June. By the time the game launches, Steinberg expects to have shared 20 percent of the game's media on Facebook.
Steinberg also noted that Facebook drove twice the number of qualified and efficient views than other platforms, which helped inform a bigger marketing strategy.
"This study did not necessarily suggest we spend more, but it enabled us to learn more about what motivates our consumers to buy or consider buying our game," she said. "As a result, we have a more defined framework for our creative messaging and marketing planning. We are not only using the study to define media targets and creative assets, but it has also been instrumental in guiding our overall marketing strategy and tactical plans, using the motivational attributes for each segment as our inspiration."