PAX East took place at the Boston Convention Center over the weekend, and thousands of fans made their way through the halls to check out the latest and greatest in interactive entertainment. With that, two brands have come away as big winners from the event: Uber and Totino’s.
An on-demand car service and a delicious pizza roll manufacturer might seem like an unlikely pair to come out ahead at a gaming convention, but both teamed up with noteworthy partners to create an impact with gamers without the huge over-branding that some other companies may be known for.
In a tremendous promotion for Blizzard’s upcoming game, Overwatch, the travel company brought a snazzy promotion to PAX East that took attendees all across the city.
Dubbed UberWATCH, the company’s app let riders order special Overwatch-stamped vehicles to drive them around the city. Riders could get a single-seater Lamborghini, a two-seater buggy, or a large multi-passenger truck to bring them around. The vehicles could be seen all across Boston and worked alongside Blizzard’s show floor promotion.
Needless to say, the promotion was a success, and sent thousands of fans over to the official Overwatch booth to get hands-on with the game. Overwatch releases on May 24th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Meanwhile, Totino’s, makers of wildly popular pizza rolls (which are considered a fond delicacy for many gamers), had its own presence at PAX East. In addition to offering attendees some sample products for nourishment, it also presented a rather peculiar challenge: the Bucking Couch.
Set up like a rodeo bull, the Couch challenged players to sit on it and play Sega’s classic Sega Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog while struggling to stay on. It became a big hit on social media, with hundreds of attendees partaking in the challenge.
The Totino's bucking couch at PAX East is comedy genius. Especially when person's posture is rigid as hell. pic.twitter.com/tFfU1mW6Qv
— Chris the Comiskey (@Havoc06) April 23, 2016
— Long Tran (@longttran) April 22, 2016
— Andrea Rene (@andrearene) April 24, 2016
Totino’s partnered with Sega for the promotion, and they also gave fans the chance to play other classic games like Crazy Taxi and Golden Axe while celebrating the 25th anniversary of its iconic hedgehog character.
“PAX East is the perfect place to share our Bucking Couch with the passionate gaming community and give these gamers a unique challenge like they’ve never experienced before,” said Brad Hiranaga, director of marketing for Totino’s. “We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting event and work with top gamers and game developers to bring the ‘Live Free: Couch Hard’ experience to life.”
Old Spice had teamed up with Twitch before on a special promotion, where fans would issue commands to a character in real-time through the “Old Spice Nature Adventure.” It paid off quite well, with 2.65 million views over the three day event.
At PAX East, Old Spice returned, this time offering some sweet-smelling relief to visitors of Twitch’s booth. It offered sample products of both its body wash and deodorant, which turned out to be a huge hit, with thousands of fans picking up the products. It could point to the company’s return at future events, such as the forthcoming TwitchCon, which will take place in San Diego later this year.
Meanwhile, although Lyft‘s promotion wasn’t quite as flashy as Uber, it was on the show floor, giving away prizes to those who spun a wheel. Prizes including vehicle credits, candy bars and little pink mustaches.