Don’t sell to Gen Z, entertain them. Few brands take this advice to heart as much as Xbox. This time, the internet culture connoisseurs at Xbox, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, have partnered with Ayzenberg and Khabane “Khaby” Lame – one of the world’s most popular TikTok creators, with 120.7 million followers – on a campaign to encourage holiday sales of its Xbox Series S console.
Launching today, “Simply Next Gen” comes to life via a video in which Senegalese-born Lame—who became a viral sensation for his underproduced, deadpan TikTok reaction videos about finding easier ways to do burdensome things—is shown watching a clip of a tree knocking down an outdoor fort moments after its builder secured its foundation.
A simpler way to build (or demolish) forts as Khaby demonstrates? Simple—turn on your Xbox Series S with the touch of a button and play Fortnite. The campaign will launch on Khaby’s TikTok and will be supported across Xbox’s owned and operated channels.
Ayzenberg and Xbox’s decision to partner with Khaby marks a growing trend among brands utilizing influencers to reach a targeted audience. In this case, the “Simply Next Gen” target audience isn’t the typical gaming audience that game influencers tend to reach.
According to Ayzenberg chief creative officer Gary Goodman, the main goal of “Simply Next Gen” is to connect with those who may be new to console gaming and are generally considered casual gamers. Ayzenberg believes that the Xbox Series S is the lowest barrier to entry for those who want to experience true “Next Gen Gaming.”
Five years ago, Khaby wouldn’t have been a part of the campaign equation. Goodman says instead, the agency would be looking at a more traditional entertainment celebrity from film, TV, music, or sports to appeal to this wider audience.
A campaign of that nature would’ve had to have been amplified with a pretty hefty media buy, so much of which would’ve been a shotgun approach to hopefully find the right audience. With Xbox’s “Simply Next Gen” campaign, Ayzenberg sought to communicate to an audience that already knows and values Khaby’s core message.
“As Xbox’s Social Media AOR, we have spent the last eight-plus years honing our integration of Creative, Strategy and Audience so that we are able to bring really targeted ideas like this to our client that we both know how to execute and that we know will perform,” said Goodman.
Though influencers have commanded a larger portion of brands’ marketing budgets in recent years, at this point it’s second nature for Xbox to capitalize on moments like those that Lame is so skilled at creating. For Xbox, being authentic in who they are and how they communicate to their vast, diverse audience is a huge priority, one that requires an influencer whose core message and authenticity align with what a brand is trying to say.
“What’s so exciting about working with influencers is that they have built their own audiences out of the very same tenets – they are being themselves every day and the world tunes in to watch and support them,” Goodman told AList.
Goodman’s hope for the campaign is to see the Xbox community and many others create content that follows Lame’s “Simply Next Gen formula” of doing hard things the simpler way using Xbox Series S as well as to inspire people to be turned on to the joys of gaming on the console.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the final creative for this campaign. It was a perfect alignment of both our video creative and social creative teams to bring the right idea, with the right message and the right influencer. Our client Josh Munsee instantly fell in love with this approach and was able to champion it throughout the org. And when things just fall into place like that, and everyone is aligned…you know you’ve got a winner,” added Goodman.
Xbox “Simply Next Gen” Credits:
- Josh Munsee, Sr. Manager, Xbox Global Marketing
- Gary Goodman, Ayzenberg Chief Creative Officer
- Allen Bey, Ayzenberg Creative Director/Editor
- Taylor Rhoads, Ayzenberg Creative Director
- Drew Shafer, Ayzenberg Associate Creative Director
- Chy Lin, Ayzenberg Account Director
- Jonathan Clark, Ayzenberg Producer