What kind of thinking goes into creative a successful ad campaign Sometimes it can just be something that comes from the spur of the moment – even while sitting in a hot tub.
That’s the way that Supercell’s Super Bowl ad for Clash of Clans played out, a memorable ad featuring actor Liam Neeson angrily swearing revenge on the rival that destroyed his camp. The ad turned out to be a huge success for the company, despite its high cost of $9 million.
How it came about, though, is just as surprising, as reported by GamesIndustry International. “The decision for us to be on the Super Bowl was decided by a bunch of guys in a hot tub while we were on an offsite,” said Supercell media lead Jimmy Lee, speaking at the F8 Facebook conference earlier this week. “Everybody closed their eyes and voted on whether or not they wanted to see a Super Bowl spot for Clash and everybody ended up saying we want to see this on the Super Bowl.
“It had nothing to do with economics or monetization, it was our way of thanking our players, our way of acknowledging that this is a game that’s worth playing and trying to retain them a little bit longer. It wasn’t about getting our game in front of however many millions of eyeballs that were watching the Super Bowl.”
Attracting new users to a popular game is definitely a key component with ads like the Neeson one, but being loyal to current players is just as important, according to Lee. “When we do marketing we don’t always just think is this going to drive acquisitions, the question that we always ask ourselves is what are our current players going to think about this ” he said.
“If they saw this on television or they saw a particular banner, what are our current players going to think about it If you think about it whether you’re Supercell or King or Zynga or anybody else, the players that you have in the bucket is going to be bigger than all the existing players outside the bucket that could potentially become your next set of users,” he continued.
“At some point you’re going to have to look in the mirror and decide whether or not you’re going to focus on retaining your users and doing stuff for your current players or going after every single last user. And that’s really how we approach the equation.”
Obviously Supercell made the right choice, based on the ad’s success – and having the star of the Taken franchise played a key part in that success. In case you missed it, the ad can be seen below.