Ubisoft taps its competitive fanbase

Video gamers were invited to face off against pro football players in a campaign promoting the launch of The Division 2.

With the launch of its FAM program last year, Ubisoft Canada promised to get closer to the Canadian gaming community – a strategy that’s at the heart of a new campaign accompanying the release of the company’s Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2.

The FAM program – which is exclusive to the Canadian market – is designed to help celebrate gamers’ passion by rewarding them with unique experiences, says Simon Joly, marketing manager at Ubisoft Canada. Working with agency Lg2, he says the company saw an opportunity to deliver on that promise through a campaign promoting the March 15 launch of The Division 2, a third-person action role-playing game.

Ubisoft invited three Canadian pro football players (formerly or currently from the Calgary Stampeders, winners of the 2018 Grey Cup) into its Montreal studio to compete against a group of handpicked Division 2 fans. The team of football pros, dubbed “The Strikers,” were coached by a Canadian gaming YouTuber called Doom49, before facing off against the group of Ubisoft fans playing as “The Ghosts.”

Rolled out in two phases starting in mid-March, the campaign includes a series of videos, including two 30-second sequences and longer two-minute videos. Those elements are being supported by Facebook posts and digital photo albums.

The strategy revolved around promoting the game while also showing appreciation for the gaming community and Ubisoft fans in particular, says Joly. The approach helped showcase “a unique experience centered around what [players] were most excited about – the fun factor around playing this game with their friends.”

While the company has been slow to divulge all its plans for FAM, the program is intended to engage fans through personalized content, exclusive offers, experiences and rewards. A video released last year called “Welcome to the FAM” stated that “a family that plays together stays together.”

Gameplay in The Division 2 demands a level of collaboration between players, as teams customize their roles and in-game abilities and must work together to complete missions. Joly says the campaign approach reflects this aspect of the game, while also speaking to the “agile nature” of its agency partnership.

“Key elements at the core of the game such as strategy, team spirit and communication are crucial to winning teams in sports, video games,” he says, “and also what enabled us to create this experience with Lg2.”

The Montreal shop was named Ubisoft Canada’s primary agency, replacing Bleublancrouge, in November last year and was given a mandate to support the company and its internal teams on building campaigns across all channels. Its duties include supporting the launch of new video games and the FAM program more generally.