US games publisher Activision tasked its UK agency Kazoo Communications with promoting the UK launch of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, a skateboarding game for Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube and GBA. Launched under Activision's 02 franchise, the game is one of a series endorsed by extreme sports athletes who also provided advice during the product's development.
A household name in the US, Tony Hawk is the best-known professional skateboarder in the country, with an empire that includes his own clothing range, skateboarding equipment and branded extreme sports festival. He flew to London on 3 December on a whistle-stop PR tour to promote the game and to boost his profile in the UK.
To promote Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 through youth and entertainment media.To raise the profiles of Activision 02 and the Tony Hawk franchise in the business media.
In the UK, Hawk is primarily known for computer games, rather than his sporting or business achievements, so it was the agency's job to build his profile alongside the promotion of the game. As he was only in the country for one day, Kazoo had a short space of time in which to organise targeted and high impact media interviews and appearances.
Strategy and Plan
Kazoo targeted youth, sports and business media, and arranged 16 back-to-back interviews between 6am and 8pm on 4 December, as well as personal appearances at the Ladbroke Grove skate park and Covent Garden for CNX Trailer Park.
Later that evening, Activision 02 and media partner Kerrang! hosted a party at the Scala nightclub in King's Cross, for which tickets were given away by Radio One, RI:SE, Metro, dotmusic.com and XFM.
Measurement and Evaluation
A whistle-stop tour started at 6am with an appearance on RI:SE, followed by hotel-based interviews with Radio 5 Live, the Extreme ports Channel, Metro, MTV, the Funday Times and Newsround. TV crews at Ladbroke Grove that afternoon included CNBC, Children's ITV, Gillette World of Sport and Kerrang! TV. Tony also appeared on the Richard and Judy show, Radio one Entertainment News, and XFM before the evening event. He was interviewed on the plane to Germany the following day for a Guardian G2 feature, and filmed by CNBC for a European business programme entitled Money in Sport.
Further broadcast and online coverage came from CITV, MTV, dotmusic and BBC News Online, and interviews were also published in The Times T:2, Kerrang!, The Guardian online supplement and teen magazine Click.
The campaign created extensive awareness of Tony Hawk and the launch of the video game, as well as introducing the Tony Hawk franchise to the business media.
The total broadcast (radio and TV) audience reach was estimated at 43.1 million.
More than 150,000 copies of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 were sold in December, and it has been in the top ten sales chart since its launch.