The BriefNintendo SA needed to create awareness aboutthe upcoming release of Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time, on a very tight productionbudget of R150,000THE PROBLEMThe Legend Of Zelda might be well known globallybut has not enjoyed the same position in SouthAfrica.Our target audience – the youth – don’t liketo be talked at, so we had to devise a planthat allowed for spontaneous engagement.The SOLUTIONWith the thought that people like to connectwith people, we created Link Reynolds as thefigurehead of our unbranded digital campaign,and created a series of webisodes of his quest.This followed the kind of cult followingdisplayed in the Robin Williams TV spot.“Meet Link Reynolds”: We created a dating video for Link and Plastered “Missing” poster and fliers in public spaces and universitiessigned him up to dating sites
The SOLUTIONREAL-WORLD SOLUTION - Hired an actor to play Link - Created a Facebook profile and twitter account for him - A Facebook page for the fabricated student film crew, called “Finding Zelda” - A Youtube channel for Finding Zelda, feeding content to both Facebook entities. The Finding Zelda Facebook Page Link Reynolds on TwitterLink Reynolds’ Facebook profile The Finding Zelda YouTube channel
FIRST QUEST– REAL-WORLD STUNT TO GIVE US A NEWSWORTHY STORYLink Reynolds is a twenty-something middle- ONLINE RESPONSEclass South African who thinks he is theprotagonist of the game, and is obsessed with - News of stunt made it on the blog sitefinding his Princess. He tugs at some people’s “Lazygamer”: http://www.lazygamer.co.zaheartstrings through his quest for love, and on - Mentioned in an article on the TimesLiveothers’ funny bones through his misadventures. website - A “Special Focus” link posted on News24. co.zaREAL-WORLD SOLUTION rAge gaming expo - Staged a failed marriage proposal to Zelda - Snuck in 300 heart-shaped balloons and 14 helium gas canisters - Released balloons inside the Coca Cola Dome Clockwise from top left: Lazygamer blog entry; TimesLive article mention (highlighted in green); News24.co.zaLink looking for his princess at Rage, using Heart-shaped red Sepcial Focus feature (highlighted inballoons, fliers, poster and a megaphone green)
SECOND QUEST- SPREAD THE WORD OF LINK’S QUEST THROUGH AN ATL CHANNELThe only ATL component of the campaign was Link ONLINE RESPONSEcalling the Grant & Anele show on 5FM, and anin-studio interview. However, Link snuck into Radio QuestSABC Radio park for an unplanned “Hijacking”of their show. He brought along poster that - 2 tweets from Grant and Anele. Grant hasthe presenters read out for 2 minutes live on 15,165 followers and Anele has 46,863air. followers. - people even made their own hashtags (#LinkandZelda, #LinkReynoldsREAL-WORLD SOLUTION and #Whoislink) - There was also a tweet by Zelda La Grange, Radio Quest Nelson Mandela’s assistant (she was 9,343 followers) - Link called into the Grant and Anele show - 14 wall comments and 10 messages on his on 5FM asking for help to find Zelda profile. - Snuck into the SABC Radiopark to “hijack” - 30 new friends on Facebook, with 9 personal Grant and Anele’s show. With hand-written messages encouraging him to keep looking. posters against the 5FM studio windows, Co-Creation with tweets his message reeived free airtime - Invited into the 5FM studio to have a live interview LEFT: Co-creation tweet about the Legend of Zelda Game; ABOVE: Another Co-createdLink “hijacking” the Grant & Anele show and in studio a few tweet (the number plate reads:days later. “LINK GP”)
SECOND QUEST- SPREAD THE WORD OF LINK’S QUEST THROUGH AN ATL CHANNELSome of the tweets posted during the RadioQuest activity, including Zelda LaGrange’stweet (right): Some fans managed to get the audio from the first call Link made and spoofed it. It has 245 views so far. Grant & Anele also retweeted this video.
THIRD QUEST- REAL-WORLD ACTIVITY/VIDEO CONTENT“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this...”Despite this high level of exposure, Linkhad still not found his Zelda. After beingdepressed, Link picked himself up, as well asa new follower, Ivan.We started introducing themes, terminology andelements from the game.REAL-WORLD SOLUTION CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: Link gets the Master Some of the “Hero’s training” videos: Sword; Ivan and Link Test-ride Epona; Response to one of our clips; Ivan and Link reinact a final battle; Link reflects next to the Deku tree; Sword- - Back on Epona: Link identifies that a play practice lady needs transport, and learns to ride a horse - Using Magic armor: Went to a traditional healer, that does “magic”. - Hanging out with Navi: a little boy came to help Link with his sword training, Link thought the boy was Navi. - The master Sword: sword play practice with fruit - Final battle with Ganondorf: Ivan and Link pretend to face off in a final battle. - The Great Deku Tree: Link tells of how he sits and reflects on the destruction of the Deku tree by Ganondorf - Spirit stones, the Kokiri forest and Lake Hyryle were all used in Link’s dialogue, and as video titles.
THIRD QUEST- REAL-WORLD ACTIVITY/VIDEO CONTENTONLINE RESPONSE - Post on gaming blog “Lazy Gamer”, with 7 comments - Post on El33tonline.co.za blog - Link posted a response video to the lazygamer post. Lazygamer rebuttal received 41 comments. - 2,367 views on YouTube, and 10 subscribers - Lazygamer picked up on our quest and put up regular updates about it. ANTI-CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: el33tonline blog entry; Link responds to Lazygamer bloggers’ posts; Comments on Link’s video.Lazygamer blog post on Link’s “hero’s training”.
SIDE-QUESTS- MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS AND CO-CREATION WITH FANSOne of the Zeldas that Link cold-called tookinterest in his quest. After a screeningprocess (through Ivan), Link met up withher. This lead to meaningful co-creation,with Zelda giving him a photoshoot.After careful consideration, Link decidedthat she must be the Sheik, or the ShadowZelda from the game as her feelings for himwere purely platonic. ANTI-CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Link meets Zelda Welgemoed; Link’s photoshoot with Zelda; Picture courtesy of Zelda Welgemoed Photography; Picture courtesy of Zelda Welgemoed PhotographyIvan interviewing Zelda Welgemoed for “Quality control” purposes
FOURTH QUEST- CREATE AN EVENT TO REWARD LINK’S SM FRIENDSLink had a dream about having a party,with the hope that zelda would be there.Over 300 avid fans attended the party, withmany girls dressing up as princesses to wooLink. Link hosted the party and his Facebookfriends got in for free, all in the name ofspreading the word of his quest.REAL-WORLD SOLUTION Finding Zelda party - Got 3 local bands to play at the party (Naming James, Kite-rider and Shadow CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Link sings the song of time club) with Naming James; Link meets some princesses - Link performs the “song of time” with Naming James - Gave out free Finding Zelda t-shirts - Name tags to indentify Zeldas - Zelda submissions box - Glow sticks as signifiers of the triforce Hyrule Rocks!Link’s Zelda submissions box and the Finding Zelda t-shirt
FOURTH QUEST- CREATE AN EVENT TO REWARD LINK’S SM FRIENDSONLINE RESPONSE Finding Zelda Party Facebook event was created. - Event received free advertising on - 123 people RSVPed 8 entertainment websites including - 92 said Maybe gamer-specific sites Nintendogamer and - but 2,053 were invited and saw our message. el33tonlineFree publicity around event and campaign
CONCLUSIONTo date, Link has 150 friends.The average 3 Month CampaignFacebook user has an average of 140 friends.As a conservative estimate, that means we have PAID MEDIAbeen able to reach at least 21,000 peoplethrough their news feeds. - Radio call - Radio in-studio interviewThis is without Link EVER having sent out afriend request. All engagement was initiated OWNED MEDIAby Link’s fans and friends - true, real andsincere interactions. People inititating - Free PR - Radio “hijack” estimated PRconversations around the brand and the brand value of R50,000not talking at them. - Online and Print media estimated value R102,000by bringing in elements and themes from theLegend of Zelda, we managed to educate the EARNED MEDIASouth African audience about the game and havestarted a local cult following. - Link’s Facebook Profile (152 friends) - Finding Zelda Facebook page (76 likes) - Finding Zelda YouTube Channel (2,367 views on YouTube, and 10 subscribers) - Twitter account 3,9 Million Active Facebook users in South Africa 21,000 friends 152 Link’s friends
THE WAY FORWARD - The crew decides to make a short film about Link’s quest and tries to market it? - Continue Link’s quest when the next game comes out? - Have a “Finding Link” campaign where Zelda tries to find Link.LINK CONTINUES ALONEThe Legend of Zelda never has a “Hollywood”type ending. Link might defeat Ganondorf inthe final battle and rescue Zelda, but Linkalways has to keep looking for her in the nextgame and all its quests.We saw it fitting to end the campaign withLink not having found his Zelda, but stillresolute about finding her. Styaing true tothe game, the quest contiues...