GAME approached Rise at Seven with a near impossible challenge: “Make our most famous brand campaign go viral AGAIN but this time help us get links and generate actual value for search”.
In 2013, GAME launched a campaign called the Christmas Tinner – a 3 course Christmas dinner in a tin for gamers who don’t want to leave their chair. They set Rise at Seven a near impossible task to re-launch their campaign, make it go viral yet again, but this time generate links and drive SEO value. Not only that, but we had to turn it around in 5 working days as 1st December was coming up and they wanted us to help them improve their organic positions for their gaming chair section in time for Christmas.
They wanted to land at least 20 links to their site as a result of the campaign and drive 3000 organic visits.
The aim was to target one of the most engaged but critical audiences online – gamers with the goal of landing on national, lifestyle, and technology press! They wanted to build the brand after very little activity occurred over the last 5 years asking us to target an international audience. Thus, the audience was 16-40 year olds who buy stocking fillers and gaming merchandise
We conducted an analysis into one of the biggest online communities where many gamers converse: Reddit. We found that gamers rarely consume their news using media publications, instead favouring YouTube and Twitter as their main sources of information/content. In addition, news articles are often the last ones to report on gaming news, so we needed to target social media users to kick start the campaign and ensure mass media coverage and links. We faced 2 main challenges:
Challenge 1: Every year, the Christmas Tinner naturally landed media coverage, with 0 links back to the site. To discover why, we analysed the GA data which revealed there was a high volume of site search bar searches for Christmas Tinner where users were displayed with 0 results. There was absolutely no content on the site that mentioned the Christmas Tinner; therefore no link-worthy content. We needed to create on-site content for users to explore, and journalists to link to.
Challenge 2: We needed another hook, a new version, an alternative story.
Our plan: to launch a Vegan and Vegetarian option of the famous Christmas Tinner. With 3.5 million vegans in the UK, brands are jumping on the trend to respond to consumer behaviour habits (think Greggs vegan sausage roll for example).
We organically placed the content on social media’s biggest gaming communities through earned media and strategic influencer targeting, creating conversation around gaming and kickstarting the hype.
We needed a high quality visual so rather than using Photoshop, we decided to make the Christmas Tinners for real!
The ingredients: With just a few days to create the products, we took to Reddit, Twitter and vegan Facebook communities and asked: what do vegans and vegetarians eat for Christmas? What should this tin include? We received hundreds of responses from a very active community and used this to form our recipe. We visited the local supermarket and produced the tins ourselves, including all creative imagery.
Getting the imagery: We needed to showcase the ingredients with perfect stills of the inside of the tin The only way to do that was an all-night scientic kitchen experiment, involving freezer bags, blowtorches, professional camera equipment and food ingredients. This produced 360 images to use for the product pages and created onsite content, outlining product descriptions/ingredients with internal links to the gaming chair section we were focusing on boosting as a secondary KPI.
The campaign generated viral press coverage across 18 different countries, radio and TV features and even creative advertising award shortlists. It featured on Saturday Night Live and This Morning and reached millions on social media.
After seeding the Christmas Tinner across social media, the campaign’s prole was raised further when influencer, Beard Meats Food, posted about it, reaching 807K of his followers. We worked with various YouTubers to create relevant video content, resulting in 234,400 views ahead of press launch.
Across 2 weeks, we landed 159 media placements across 14 countries including UK, US, AUS and Europe. Key features included The Sun, ABC America, Fox News, Heart Radio, Capital Radio and some of France and Germany’s biggest news outlets,112 of which included a link back to the content on site. These links drove a huge 85,000 referrals to the URL making it the third most visited page. These were all organic with absolutely no paid media. The campaign URL got shared 333,522 times on social media, and numerous international radio and TV shows, generating a social reach in the millions.
And it wasn’t just links!
It caught the attention of Stephen Colbert in America, who featured the story on The Colbert Show, reaching his 7.11million fans. The video received over 1.7 million YouTube views, with viewers (and even schools!) creating their own tins. The One Show and Good Morning Britain called Rise at Seven’s oce for an interview!
With 154 high quality links to the domain, the content now ranks rst for Christmas Tinner, with organic driving 35% of all visits. Previously, GAME didn’t rank anywhere for this as there was no content on site but it soon became the third most visited page on the site after Black Friday.
Organic search increased 35% with brand search impressions increasing by 51% – driving an extra 1 million impressions. GAME’s ‘gaming chair hub’ was struggling to rank before this campaign, ranking for just one keyword. This has since increased to rank for over 400 keywords. The number of sessions increased from just under 3000 to just under 7000 in a week to the gaming chair landing page and peaked across the core sales time of Christmas.
Search visibility increased from 29% to 33% (Sistrix) in just a fortnight. The results were the best the brand has ever seen.
This campaign won Rise at Seven a gold award for Best Use of Digital PR at the 2020 International Content Marketing Awards. Find out more about Rise at Seven on their member page, or check out their website