Grand Theft Auto 4 - Marketing

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Grand Theft Auto 4 - Marketing

  1. 1. Grand Theft Auto 4’s Marketing
  2. 2. Rockstar’s starting point <ul><li>Massively successful series </li></ul><ul><li>Internationally known brand </li></ul><ul><li>Huge fan base and established online communities </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist press eager to cover the game </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream press interest due to the series’ success </li></ul><ul><li>Criticism from mainstream press over GTA’s content </li></ul><ul><li>Controversy over Hot Coffee </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV, released last April, sold 6 million copies during its first week, bringing in $500 million. It cost Rockstar $100 million to produce, 1,000 people worked on the project, and it took three-and-a-half years to complete.
  4. 4. Challenges for Rockstar <ul><li>No easy hook – such as 80’s Miami or 90’s California </li></ul><ul><li>No cultural short cuts – in terms of references or obviously related films </li></ul><ul><li>Set in present day so no retro feel for music or look </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of game: the realistic setting – a harder sell </li></ul><ul><li>Managing the controversy </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining interest up to release </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring that the hype matched the final product </li></ul><ul><li>Not giving too much information away before the release – so not to spoil it for gamers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Strategy <ul><li>Guerrilla and viral marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Drip feed information to the specialist and mainstream press. </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operative marketing with Microsoft and retail http://www.mcvuk.com/news/30226/Microsofts-GTA-marketing-push-as-big-as-Halo-3 </li></ul><ul><li>TV, press and billboard advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Liaise with the fansites and fan community </li></ul><ul><li>Build-up to a Hollywood blockbuster-style launch day </li></ul>
  6. 6. Specialist Press <ul><li>Carefully choreographed demos without any hands on time </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling the amount that is seen and experienced and therefore could be written about </li></ul><ul><li>Giving exclusive content to get magazine covers </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling the reviewing environment by putting journalists up in a hotel </li></ul>
  7. 7. Making of the series in high-brow games mag Edge - on sale March 2008 – a month before GTA 4’s release April 2007 – Official PlayStation Magazine has the first UK look at GTA 4 March 2007 – world exclusive first look at GTA 4 in US games mag Game Informer
  8. 8. Mainstream press <ul><li>R* management giving interviews to broadsheets and high-end magazines – Variety, The Times </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive content given to men’s lifestyle press, film magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Details of soundtrack released to music press </li></ul>
  9. 9. GTA Announcement <ul><li>Rockstar and Take Two announced the release of GTA on 9 th May 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The release date was confirmed as 19 October 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>1 st March 2007 – launch of the website with countdown to release of first trailer </li></ul><ul><li>29/03/07 Logo and ‘Things will be different’ trailer </li></ul>
  10. 11. ‘Things will be different’ <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMr43kdRiSg </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on the environment – spoof New York </li></ul><ul><li>Introduces new Eastern European lead character </li></ul><ul><li>Present day and very realistic </li></ul><ul><li>The trailer uses a similar cinematic style to Godfrey Reggio's 1982 documentary film Koyaanisqatsi and used Philip Glass's original music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PirH8PADDgQ </li></ul>
  11. 12. Further trailers <ul><li>&quot;Looking For That Special Someone&quot; 28/06/07 http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v = psxIBzrGAjE </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Move Up, Ladies&quot; 06/012/07 http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =haLIkADUs3Q </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Good Lord, What Are You Doing?&quot; 27/03/08 http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =D9rh5gV_dro </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 13 other ‘teaser trailers were release introducing places or characters http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v = YdkEwObpriQ </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =vnseF_88Rig </li></ul>
  12. 13. Unveiling the box art On 27 November 2007 Rockstar released the image of the box art and a video of a team of artist recreating it on a wall in warehouse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxcWwK10i5M
  13. 14. Advertising <ul><li>Mural in New York </li></ul>
  14. 18. <ul><li>TV advertising campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Print advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Radio ads </li></ul><ul><li>Billboards </li></ul>
  15. 19. Viral Marketing <ul><li>Wanted posters of characters from the game. </li></ul><ul><li>On the poster the email address of the Liberty City Police Department </li></ul>
  16. 20. Response from LCPD
  17. 21. Stickers and Graffiti
  18. 22. GTA 4 graffiti being painted
  19. 23. Spoof websites Rockstar encouraged fans to send recordings of themselves ranting about anything - which would then make it into the final game on the Talk Radio channel WKTT, Our-own-reality.com Website focusing on the celebrities from Liberty City
  20. 24. Limited edition Liberty City licence plate available to those who pre-ordered with Amazon.com Point of sale promotions Special Edition GTA 4 – with soundtrack, duffel bag and a safety deposit box that contains the game. To encourage consumers to pre-order GTA (place a deposit on copy of the game before its release), Rockstar ran promotions with retailers offering exclusive GTA branded products.
  21. 25. Use of fansites Rockstar are particularly good at engaging with their fanbase especially with GTA fansites. Throughout the build up to GTA4’s release they sent assets (screenshots, information) to the fansites and even invited the editors over to New York to play the game before its release. (www.thegtaplace.com/feature/gtaiv-fansite-event/) A Chihuahua Hotdogs t-shirt and Pisswasser Beer glass – both brands from the GTA universe – sent to the editor of gtagaming.com

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