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Xbox Reveals Hidden Film in Ad 'Glitch'

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Recent spot from CP+B London contains hackable secret film

Xbox Reveals Hidden Film in Ad 'Glitch'

With 3.9 million Xbox One consoles sold-in across 13 markets since its release last November, Microsoft wanted to thank fans for their loyalty with a never-before-seen campaign - a disruptive one-second film in the middle of nationwide Xbox One TV ads. To the untrained eye it looked like a “glitch”. The ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ codes and ciphers, hidden within one second and just 25 frames of the commercial, were seen by millions, but only understood by Xbox fans who were intrigued to delve deeper. The glitch took gamers on an amazing, cryptic journey to unlock title games, prizes and unique consoles.

The original “Invitation” advert launched last October, featuring characters and content from Xbox One games, and was seen by millions – so the ‘glitch’ campaign surprised many when it appeared in the TV ads without any formal announcement, acknowledgement or explanation from Xbox in an innovative form of communication engagement designed to test the ingenuity of gamers – and reward them for their curiosity. The glitch within the commercial aired at midday and by the evening there was a steady stream of Twitter posts questioning the change to the original advert and asking what it meant.

When footage from the commercials was slowed down, it revealed a series of clues and codes for the engaged and clever gamer audience to notice, discuss, probe and decipher and tempted consumers to participate. Games fans soon uploaded photos and videos of TV footage onto social networks and forum communities started debating the frames. The campaign took 36 hours to solve and in that time it generated a huge amount of positive exposure for Xbox One and revitalised people’s engagement to an advert that had already been aired for a month.

Prizes awaited those who were the quickest to follow the trail and for one ultimate winner it even went a step further - a blacked out car pulled up at his home and he was filmed solving a final clue to receive prizes such as an Xbox One: Day One Edition, 12 months Xbox Live Gold membership, games bundle and a ticket to LA for the Titanfall launch party.

Graeme Boyd, Xbox EMEA Social Marketing Manager at Microsoft said: “This campaign was designed with community engagement at its heart – and was built around our most popular Xbox games, encouraging gamers to work together, solve clues and ultimately discover big prizes. With the excellent work from our agency partners, the Xbox Glitch has reinforced Xbox One as the home for gamers.”

Matt Gooden, ECD at CP+B said: “Ideas like this come along once every few years, A simple idea at heart but very complicated to execute. UM International had the concept of a one second commercial and we worked as a team to make it a fully engaging and visually rich experience. B-Reel were outstanding with the execution and the Xbox team protected the integrity of the idea throughout... More projects and clients like this please.”

Alex Jenkins, Creative Director at B-Reel said: “The hidden ciphers and codes took inspiration from the games themselves. The pathway to the Ryse: Son of Rome prizes was littered with Latin script and Roman numerals. Dead Rising 3’s online journey revealed zombie content in a humorous and playful way, while the Titanfall path used robotic and computer scripts which needed to be converted along with more complex ciphers. Xbox Glitch has been a unique project that’s really pushed the boundaries of engaging an online audience on their own terms.”


Project name: Xbox Glitch

Client: Xbox

Brief: Show gamers the new all-in-one Xbox One is the console for them

Creative Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Creative Directors: Ben Walker & Matt Gooden

Creatives: Bertie Scrase & Christen Brestrup 

Agency Producer: Chris Chapman

Production Company: B-Reel

Media Agency: UM International

Media Agency Creative Director: Scott Holmes

Media Agency Creative Services Manager: Laurian Osborne

Market/s: UK

Live Date/s: Thursday 23 January

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Categories: Gaming, Sports and Leisure

Crispin Porter + Bogusky London, Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:05:22 GMT