Watch Dogs is an open-world adventure game developed and published by Ubisoft. Players control Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled hacker. With his smartphone, Aiden can hack into the city of Chicago and every system around him (ATMs, smartphones, city lights, trains, etc.).
With Ubisoft’s ambitious objective to sell six million copies in the first year, BETC Paris had to find a way to broaden the audience beyond the traditional hardcore gamer target. For the first time in the gaming industry, they went beyond the product to embrace a truly timely and relevant topic: hacking and Big Data. BETC imagined a three-step campaign that told a story targeting a wider audience: to drive awareness and consideration, they created WeAreData, the first website to gather all available data on Paris,London and Berlin in real time. To engage the audience, the team developed H_IDE,a mobile app that allowed people to take back control over their data by disappearing from the network. Thanks to its encrypting system, they could communicate anonymously everywhere on the web (texts, images, voice messages). Finally, to push to purchase, Ubisoft let the audience experience the power of hacking with a live experience in the streets of LA.
WeAreData gathered more than a million people without any media push. That success contributed to the awareness of Watch Dogs for a wide audience, beyond the gaming community. The H_IDE application was downloaded more than 200,000 times and is still used by thousands of people every day to communicate anonymously. The video for the “Amazing Street Hack” stunt scored more than 15 million views. Each asset benefited from PR coverage, with thousands of tweets and several hundred mentions in general and specialized media, placing Watch Dogs as a reference into discussions about hacking. The marketing campaign contributed to the sale of more than 10 million copies and increased Ubisoft sales more than 65% over the initial objective.
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