DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.: Turbo Racing League/$1,000,000 Shell-Out
Inspired by its summer film, Turbo, in which a snail gains super speed, DreamWorks Animation created an action-packed Turbo Racing League app and a $1,000,000 Shell-Out contest, brought to consumers by DreamWorks’ partner Verizon, to award an unprecedented million dollars in total cash prizes to app racing winners.
The partnership was created to achieve three main objectives: drive downloads of the Turbo Racing League app, create ad awareness for Verizon, and promote the Turbo film. The eight-week campaign targeted a broad audience and incorporated print and digital advertising and signage, social media, events, and integration with film marketing.
STRATEGY AND EXECUTION
To perfectly capture the high-octane excitement of its film, DreamWorks Animation Interactive created the gaming app and contest for players to show off their digital driving skills. The 80 fastest racers from an eight-week qualifying period each won cash prizes up to $25,000. First-place qualifying finishers were invited to the Grand Finale Race Event in Los Angeles, to compete against each other for the chance to earn the title of Turbo Racing League Champion and win the $250,000 grand prize. The grand finale was held in conjunction with the U.S. theatrical release of Turbo.
DreamWorks developers favored behavioral over age demographics to appeal to a broad movie-going audience: young and old, male and female, and casual and hard-core gamers. The gameplay was designed to be simple, so it could be enjoyed by players at all levels, while being deeply and visually stunning and synonymous with groundbreaking technology. For maximum reach, the racing game was designed for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 platforms, which added to the technical complexity of game design and contest administration.
Another technological feat was the creation of a cross-platform leaderboard that collected the winners’ names across platforms and posted them in real time to the Turbo Racing League Facebook page. Game developers also built out several algorithms and performed penetration tests to ensure protection from hackers.
The turbo-charged marketing campaign was prominently positioned across retail outlets, television, cinema, mobile ad networks, and live events. A robust social media campaign, direct tie-ins with film marketing events, and strong collaboration with the film’s marketing team also demonstrated the grand scale of the Turbo Racing League App release.
A television commercial for Turbo Racing League aired immediately after the Indy 500 victory lap. Snoop Dogg performed music from the Turbo soundtrack at E3 in Los Angeles, standing by Turbo Racing League app icon banners. The game itself was a vehicle to sell movie tickets directly through Fandango. Verizon placed print and digital signage in more than 2,000 retail stores and Times Square, and posted Facebook updates to celebrate weekly winners. More than 3,000 new Verizon mobile units were shipped with a Turbo Racing League game demo. Verizon also created mobile “pit stop” game play centers, an active street team, and a promotional ringtone based on “That Snail is Fast” from the film’s soundtrack. The partnership with Verizon gave Verizon customers access to exclusive content, including a custom Verizon racer, videos, insider tips and tricks, and toolboxes with free in-game currency.
The $1,000,000 Shell-Out contest is unprecedented, as real money prizes nearing this size have previously been offered for online electronic sporting games or by corporations encouraging people to find bugs or for exploits associated with their products. DreamWorks plans subsequent racing seasons to deliver more cash prizes to its growing audience.
Because this was a mobile game project executed by the DreamWorks Animation Interactive team, 100 percent of the campaign budget was spent on mobile.
While Verizon’s benchmark for total downloads by the end of 2013 was 340,000, within just the first month of the campaign, it exceeded eight million downloads across all platforms. By the two-month mark, the game had exceeded 17 million downloads.
In the first month, Turbo Racing League had more 120,000 likes on Facebook and more 20,000 followers on Twitter, and was the No. 1 racing game on all mobile platforms. To date, the Turbo Racing League has exceeded 313,000 likes on Facebook and has more than 54,000 Twitter followers. Turbo Racing League boasts 50,000 unique interactions on Facebook and has a 41 percent engagement rate.
Turbo Racing League sped past all other racing games, including a premium-featured racing app placement in the app store, to take the top spot in the Racing category across all platforms. More than 80,000 positive reviews on the app store have given Turbo Racing League a strong user rating of 4.5 stars.
The Guardian named it one of the Top 20 Apps of the week. It was featured as the top app in “5 Apps You Don’t Want to Miss: E3 Edition” on Mashable.com, and Touch Arcade praised it as “a quick bit of arcade racing fun with a nice dollop of visual charm on top.”
By: MMA Global