Over the month of November we created and ran a nation-wide, college
campus-based promotional game for the launch of Electronic Arts’ Sims3
Expansion pack, called Sim to Win. We were fortunate enough to work
again with an energetic and trusting marketing team from Electronic
Arts, led by the lovely Summer Bradley.
20 universities fielded a grand total of 412 teams, who jostled for
position over several weeks, staging CRAZY creative video missions,
sleuthing for online clues, and generally procrastinating on the
mid-term front. The relatively small teams (mostly1-3 players) actively
completed missions for 2 weeks, and followed that up with 2 additional
weeks of online voting that kept the scores fluctuating. Teams shared
links to their missions via Facebook and Twitter — to the tune of over
25,000 votes cast. In the end, 20 lucky collegians claimed their
rightful spoils — shiny new laptops!
Our writers came up with top-notch Sims3-related mission content, and
used a host of on-line tools (Google Earth, Streetview, Facebook,
Twitter, etc) to enhance the overall web scavenger hunt experience. As
with any product we create, there was a health dose of real-life play,
and that’s where the wheat got separated from the chaff, talent-wise.
One submission we really like was this:
The challenge below asked teams to create their own Sims avatar, but give the game controller to their disgruntled ex-bf/gf.
Sim to Win was a success on many fronts. It delivered
numbers/eyeballs/impressions to the tune of:
Average of 2.5 minutes spent on the ‘best of’ gallery
The goal of the game was to drum up excitement about Sims3 and to
encourage active Sims devotees and non-gamers alike to experience and
revel in Sims3. We got a nice mix of hardcore Simmers and newbies and
we’re quite certain the game gave a fresh perspective on a first-person
pc game. The game content was shared far past the 1,000 or so players,
and what got communicated was pretty simple: people having a ton of
fun with a game about a game.
The game engine that Finn built worked like a Swiss watch. Alli, Ian W and yours truly
spent untold hours creating fake Facebook profiles, scouring photos of
campuses and concocting hugely entertaining challenges that the teams
digested at a 67% success rate.
For any ongoing game (longer than a few hours) you run the risk of
disincentivizing (if that is indeed a word) the late-comers. When you
see that you’re already 500 points behind, you’re more likely to click
away. With this in mind, we designed the game so that ‘late’ teams could
complete all the prior missions retroactively. This helped a lot with
retention over the course of the 2 weeks.
Participating schools were:
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
Florida State University
University of Georgia
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
University of Nebraska
University of Oklahoma
Don’t you want to know which school was the most creative/smartest?
Maybe it’s something they put in the swampwater, or the
rubbing-of-elbows with all the national champion athletes, but in our
humble opinion, the University of Florida earned the distinction of
Thanks to everyone who helped make this game a big success!