Shooting a Hero
For the recent launch of Halo 3, a fictional war photographer called Jake Courage was created, who took photos of the epic Halo battle 'Of Mombassa'. As well as creating a microsite at jakecourage.com, we staged a photography exhibition in 68 cinemas nationwide to showcase these haunting images. Watch the film (it's only a minute) It's proof that the best defence against a small budget is a really big idea.
Visit campaign page on xbox.com
Halo3 is the third game in the Xbox exclusive Halo franchise. Every Halo launch has been a big event amongst the gamer audience, but the client wanted Halo3 to be more: an entertainment landmark. The Halo 3 'Believe' campaign idea sought to reposition the protagonist of the Halo series as the hero and saviour of mankind. We built a vision of a future world, looking back on the events of the Halo wars, and humanity's victory. Our specific task was to run a promotion in-cinemas, to engage consumers with the content of Halo 3 and build a true cultural connection.
The concept was to extend the 'Museum of Humanity' advertising idea, by creating a war photographer, Jake Courage, who had been stationed on the front lines in the Halo wars. We then exhibited a selection of his photos, which show the emotion and power of the story and action in Halo 3, both physically in cinemas across Britain and online. We also shot & ran a short documentary on his life and work, again in cinemas and at www.jakecourage.com.
The real competitive advantage for a game in a cinema environment is that it has a deeper and richer story than any film, taking 30 or 40 hours to explore the world of Halo 3. So we felt it appropriate to add character and events to the Halo world by inventing the Jake Courage character for our promotion, a "real" human with a biography featured in the official Halo wiki. In particular, we wanted to reward people coming across our activity with new and interesting content, not a marketing message. And the use of www.jakecourage.com allowed people to do this globally.
By repurposing visuals from the TV campaign, the additional client investment in the Jake Courage campaign was minimal, limited to actually building the infrastructure of the campaign. On a total budget of Ј10,000, we know that we reached thousands of people in cinemas, including a few light-fingered fans who stole the photography from the walls. PR across online & offline titles has also helped drive site traffic past 11,000 unique users globally, a figure still growing for a true long tail campaign, with an average dwell time still of over 3 minutes.