The opportunity

The popular Australian gaming event PAX Australia ( AUS) saw record crowds in 2019. More than 80,000 video game enthusiasts attended the three-day event in Melbourne, which included expert panels, game-culture inspired concerts, tournaments, and exhibitor booths from both independent and major game developers and publishers. Xbox Australia and New Zealand () wanted to maximise brand reach and engagement during a key event in the gaming calendar and provide an active brand experience for both the gamers attending and those following along at home.

With a highly engaged gaming base, Twitter was the perfect platform for Xbox to maximise its reach at PAX. Xbox’s vision was to drive real-time engagement during PAX and make Xbox the most talked-about console brand at the event.

The strategy

 launched the Xbox Twitter Hunt — a virtual treasure hunt and a first-of-its-kind globally, where fans could earn points for the chance to win a trip to the X019 event in London. To participate, Twitter users across Australia and New Zealand Tweeted their answers to a variety of challenges, such as filling in the blanks of cryptic hashtags, deciphering daily emoji combinations that depicted games, and unlocking points by finding QR codes hidden throughout the PAX event.

Xbox Twitter Hunt hints and tips were regularly shared via organic updates by , with assistance from an auto-reply campaign that helped Xbox respond to submissions in real time, reducing the impact on Xbox resources, and encouraging fan participation and engagement.

To amplify the reach of the scavenger hunt, Xbox used Promoted Video to target gamers with videos about the Twitter Hunt mechanics and incentives. Xbox also expanded its audience with In-Stream Video Ads, spreading the word about its scavenger hunt through In-Stream Video and pre-roll ads on  content during the event.

To bring the online and offline activity together, contestants with the most points had their Twitter handle and scores displayed on a real-time digital leader board at the event, which was regularly Tweeted by .

Bastion Effect is the integrated communications agency that partnered with XboxANZ to deliver this work. Image courtesy of Attack on Geek.