Over 70,000 video game pros and Joes passed through the E3 turnstiles in Los Angeles for the tent-pole global industry event of the year, and although there surely was big business layered throughout the three-day proceedings, the show doubled as a massive party.
Smack dab in the middle of the celebrations, Doritos stormed the downtown skyline at L.A. Live for three consecutive nights with a six-story game and music fortress billed as the #MixArcade as the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, Steve Aoki, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Empire of the Sun and Zane Lowe took turns hitting the 60-foot stage.
“For me, as a lifelong gamer, playing at E3—on a giant arcade stage no less—is a dream come true,” Aoki said. “I believe in making bold statements through music, gaming and on Twitch. That’s why this bold experience hits home.”
From unlocking bonus content to launching special effects, the non-stop party of the week gave fans onsite various control elements of the performances through LED wristbands that lit up red or blue with the simple push of a button. The performances were also available to view via Twitch livestream where fans were also invited to participate.
In between the live sets, the Doritos and EA partnership played a prevalent role, too. Never-before-seen content of the upcoming anticipated game Titanfall 2 was revealed on the #MixArcade stage. The likes of NFL Hall of Fame running back and Rams legend Marshall Faulk also kept the mood loose by bringing Madden 2016 titlist Frank “Stiff” Sardoni Jr. to the stage to flex some of his championship muscle.
In celebration of Doritos’ 50th anniversary, the chips brand also dipped its name into world record books with the distinction of “World’s Largest Arcade Machine.”
“Doritos is a brand that believes in living life to the fullest and embracing bold experiences,” said Jeannie Cho, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay. “We were honored to combine our heritage of gaming with music in the Doritos #MixArcade at E3 Live, once again putting control in the hands of fans. The gaming and music communities have long been partners on the small screen—now we’ve brought them together on the big screen.”
Cho joined [a]listdaily to further detail how the #MixArcade proved to be the non-gaming brand activation of E3.
Why did Doritos decide the E3 audience was one that it needed to seize?
We believe that imagination and creativity are unlocked when we combine different influences together. The Doritos #MixArcade allowed for an epic live experience by mixing elements of technology, gaming and music together. Building on our heritage of SXSW and the Super Bowl, the Doritos activation at E3 was a canvas for fans to create the ultimate live mix of gaming and music. Doritos also has a deep gaming heritage; we’ve partnered with many gaming brands throughout the years and have a strong connection with the gaming community.
How did the idea for #MixArcade come about? What was it designed to do?
Doritos has long been about epic entertainment and believes in putting control in the hands of consumers. To bring our newest product—Doritos Mix—to life, we created four classic arcade-style games, each inspired by the four pieces in the new product. We wanted to bring the online mix arcade experience to life in a way that mixes different influences to create a unique experience.
With #MixArcade, we built the world’s largest arcade game and introduced it at one of the most influential gaming expos. We provided more access, entertainment and control by giving fans the opportunity to level up their gaming experience by unlocking interactive elements throughout the show via LED wristbands that control various elements of the performances. The #MixArcade was a fully functioning arcade that featured a 30-feet-by-32-feet LED gaming screen for live arcade game play during the day and concert visuals during the evening, a six-foot joystick and an arcade within an arcade featuring a retro (and normal size) arcade room, with games, a lounge area, game demo stations and product samples.
What went into picking the artist lineup?
We selected performers who are all about epic and bold entertainment experiences, since Doritos has a similar mindset. And the lineup was a mix of gaming and music genres with performances that also mix musical influences in a way that brought a unique fan experience each night—specifically EDM, hip-hop and iconic, old-school DJs.
How did you engage with the attendees and community on social channels?
Before the concert began, fans received LED wristbands that lit up red or blue to control various elements of the show with the push of a button from their wrist. Fans could also watch the performances live on our Twitch channel where they actually impacted the show in real time by casting votes in chat to unlock specific effects and be part of the interactive concert experience.
Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan