Eat Lead Claims Mi6 Award for Viral Campaign

D3Publisher of America and Maverick PR’s Campaign for Eat Lead Claims 2009 Mi6 Award for Most Effective Viral Community Oriented Campaign

Let’s take a moment here to pat ourselves and our awesome client on the back.  I mean, pat our “award-winning” client and selves on our collective “award-winning” back.

We’re incredibly proud and excited to see that the Mi6 video game marketing awards has recognized the viral community campaign for D3Publisher’s Eat Lead with a Bronze Award for the “Most Effective Viral Community Oriented Campaign” of the past year.

  • You can read more about thecampaign in GameSpot’s interview with D3 and Maverick HERE

The Eat Lead campaign was inventive, risky and a great collaboration.  D3Publisher approached us with a pretty bold idea:  to help create, promote and establish a satirically fake history for a fictional video game character — all before any announcement of the actual real-world game.  These guys were looking to do something different – and in a big way – we loved it!

It was an inventive pre-announce buzz-building campaign designed to stir interest in a shooter title that didn’t bear the words Halo or Gears.

Viral marketing is insidious and horrible. <clip> That said, I have to hand it to publisher D3. Their viral campaign behind upcoming (but still-unseen) title Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, is absolutely hilarious and brilliant in its execution.

We jumped at the chance to do something completely different with a creative partner like D3.  This campaign involved developing what amounted to fiction — creating and writing the back story for some of the games, developing “marketing materials” for old titles that would appear dated.

"Old" Marketing Cartoon Promoting Matt Hazard

"Old" Marketing-Sponsored Matt Hazard Comic Strip, courtesy of Ralph Tokey

We also created a blog from Ralph Tokey, a “former employee,” to reveal secrets and create ongoing interests.  When of my favorites claims to fame of Ralph Tokey:  that he invented the “A4S” system, or “advertising for scores” whereby media were paid to give high scores.

In a hilarious rogue publicity maneuver, D3Publisher has spent quite some time weaving an elaborate back story for its latest gaming endeavor. The company’s guerrilla ad campaign revolving around the fictional Matt Hazard borders on absurdity – in a genius sort of way. It lampoons classic videogame franchises and the gaming industry itself in a pleasantly tongue-in-cheek manner.
The Escapist

Some of the best parts were drawing inspiration from our real work experience – actual lines of text from old fact sheets and releases we wrote were incorporated to give the documents the authentic TASTE of 1999 game hype.  Old stories and adventures of actual developers were rehashed and altered – some seemingly beyond belief – but many grounded in the real world of the video game industry.  I guess that’s the advantage of being old – we remember these “incidents” in first person!

It’s a tricky line to walk on when you’re creating fictional “facts” and then promoting it to media – you don’t want to “trick” anyone and piss anyone off, but you want it to be intersting enough to get some people to play along with the gag.  In this case, reactions from fans and press were universally positive – a great relief!

“Judging by the hilarious and rather elaborate viral marketing that’s cropped up for the title, we could be in for something special.”

Congrats to Mike, Sam and the whole team at D3Publisher as well as the team here at Maverick for putting together an award-winning campaign!

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