How the Xbox Series X mini fridge went from a joke to reality

“It’s been quite the gift that’s kept on giving for us,” said Aaron Greenberg, GM of Xbox games marketing.

How the Xbox Series X mini fridge went from a joke to reality

Campaign: Xbox Series X Replica Mini Fridge
Company: Microsoft
Agency Partners: Assembly
Duration: December 2019 - October 2021

When Microsoft revealed its Xbox Series X video game console in December 2019, fans quickly made memes that played on the fact that the machine resembled a refrigerator. The company leaned into the joke and began offering the Xbox Series X Fridge in October 2021.

Strategy

Gamers created memes comparing the Xbox to a fridge because the console had a boxy shape, and its disc drive looked like a handle.

Microsoft embraced the comparison because it saw it as an opportunity for “brand-fan engagement play,” said Aaron Greenberg, GM of Xbox games marketing.

“When you go connect with your friends online with Xbox, that should be a fun experience, so we really try to bring that spirit of that fun and joy to life with everything we do,” said Greenberg.

Tactics

In March 2020, Xbox posted a tweet that stated, “Fridge for scale. #PowerYourDreams.”

The accompanying graphic showed the forthcoming Xbox console and its dimensions in comparison to the much larger image of a fridge and its measurements.

Seven months later, Microsoft produced an Xbox Series X full-size fridge and offered fans a chance to win it in a contest.

Then in April 2021, Twitter held its inaugural #BestOfTweets Brand Bracket, asking users to vote on which company’s Twitter presence they liked most. When Xbox reached the finals against Skittles, the gaming brand told fans that if it won, it would offer actual Xbox mini fridges for sale.

Xbox won and kept its promise.

“First one off the line will be filled with games and headed to our friends @Skittles of course!” Greenberg tweeted.

In October 2021, the company began offering the kitchen appliances for $99.99. To promote it, the brand released a video on Twitter and Instagram.

“This was not a product that we are building from a business-profit standpoint,” said Greenberg. “We designed it intentionally to be affordable.”

Results

The Xbox mini fridge also resembled the console in terms of the demand when it became available. Gaming and tech websites reported that some vendors sold out of the product in less than one minute.

More than 185 articles were written about the campaign by gaming, technology and mainstream news organizations, including NPR; Bloomberg; and CNN.

Additionally, a campaign video received more than 655,000 views across Twitter and Instagram.

“It’s been quite the gift that’s kept on giving for us, and it’s one of the most talked about items among fans and among people outside the gaming circle,” said Greenberg. “I can’t tell you how often people come up and ask us about the mini fridge, almost just like they ask us about Halo or Forza or the console.”

In short, Greenberg said, the campaign served as a “great example of how we are really fan-first in everything we do.”

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