Hive campaign delivers
British lifestyle and fashion brand Ben Sherman is now sold in over 30 countries worldwide. It enlisted Hive, the strategic communications arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of IGA Worldwide, to develop a unique through-the-line marketing strategy.
To deliver awareness of Ben Sherman’s brand to an engaged, aspirational gaming audience, allowing maximum context and exposure to their target demographic.
The target audience for this campaign was 18 to 32 year old males.
Strategy and Implementation
Ben Sherman enlisted Hive, the strategic communications arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of IGA Worldwide, to develop a unique through-the-line marketing strategy. Atari’s popular photorealistic driving game ‘Test Drive Unlimited’ was selected as the ultimate medium.
’Test Drive Unlimited’ is the world’s only massively open online racing game, set on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
Moving beyond the traditional point-to-point or circuit-based racing games, TDU is a lifestyle racing / driving hybrid where appearance and social positioning are a core part of the game-play.
What you look like, how you dress and where you live also feature prominently within the game. Gamers are able to race prestigious vehicles over more than 1,000 miles of diverse Hawaiian terrain.
For Ben Sherman the game included the opportunity for branded billboards, virtual interactive stores and a tie-in with real-world activity.
Hive re-created the interior of Ben Sherman’s flagship store in numerous locations throughout the game environment, where budding racers are able to kit themselves out with the spring/summer 2006 collection of Ben Sherman clothing and accessories before they go on to race in top vehicle Marques including models from Lamborghini, Ferrari and Mercedes Benz.
Players entering the stores can even try on the garments and select their ‘look’ before purchasing their goods.
The creation of the store meant that the brand was integrated with the plot of the game and players became actively involved with the products.
The interactive stores were complimented with the integration of Ben Sherman billboard sites around the island which featured the well-known ‘target’ logo, as well as the latest autumn collection which was extended from the real world into the virtual space.
To provide a real world tie-in, Hive also involved Ben Sherman in a pre-order ‘sweepstakes’ competition where gamers who pre-ordered the game online were in line to win an all-new Ben Sherman wardrobe.
Finally the Xbox 360 version of the game also rewarded the player with Xbox Live Achievement points for purchasing 10 or more items of Ben Sherman clothing, creative additional positive association with the brand.
Since its launch in September 2006, almost 1,000,000 copies of the game have been sold over the counter worldwide, and with an average pass through rate of 2.5, over 2,500,000 gamers could have interacted with the Ben Sherman brand.
These numbers will grow significantly with the launch of versions for the PS2, PSP and PC platforms.
In addition due to the reward driven collectable nature of the Ben Sherman items within the game, it is estimated that each player would have to visit the store an average of four unique occasions to collect the required range to unlock the achievement.
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