Pushing Players' Buttons
When Supercell decided to launch manic multiplayer battler Brawl Stars, they needed a global campaign that would ignite its young community of beta players into a frenzy of authentic online noise, and turn the heads of mobile gamers everywhere – all without relying on paid media. Our campaign helped drive 5 million pre-registration sign ups in 8 hours, grow the game’s social channels exponentially ranging from 188% on Instagram to 194% on YouTube, and ultimately see it become the number one iPhone app in thirty-two countries earning over ten million dollars in its first week. Not bad.
Fear of Loss
As we’d been involved with Brawl Stars since day one of its beta launch 18 months earlier, we were perfectly placed. We used a mixture of social listening and data analysis to build up a comprehensive understanding of the player base; what made them tick (and kick, and punch, and fire).
Using these key insights, we devised a deceptively simple strategy that fused Supercell’s reputation for bumping-off games (they’ve killed dozens) with the players’ fervent desire for it to go global.
With its social media about to be ‘reset’ (deleted), we teased existing players with an ambiguous final post. Was the game about to bid farewell, or was it a new dawn?
With one static image, no explanatory copy and no paid media, we generated several million organic impressions and an engagement rate of 26%.
No-one was certain what was happening, but everyone was talking. Community speculation was pushed into overdrive, prompting tens of thousands of social posts, memes, conspiracy theory videos, songs, online petitions and a trending hashtag… #dontkillbrawlstars.
All was revealed with a YouTube Live Stream: global! Our follow-up sunrise image confirming the game’s launch earned even higher reach and engagement (27%).
With a rapidly growing global community awaiting the game’s official launch, we now needed to foster goodwill between the millions of new sign-ups and the OBs (Original Brawlers) from the beta-testing period.
Over the next month, we created a raft of content driving pre-registration, thanking the Original Brawlers (OBs) for all their support, introducing and educating new players to the game, and comparing sign ups in different territories to motivate our competitive community to get as many of their peers as possible involved.
Supercell’s target of two million sign-ups in the four week pre-reg period was decimated, hitting five million in the first eight hours, and snowballing from there.
Launching in style
At the official launch event in Helsinki, we were there – along with 100 content creators – to amplify and celebrate the long-awaited day. We ‘brawlified’ the influencers – literally turning them into their own bespoke Brawl Stars characters, earning thousands of shares and engagement from their audiences.
We also chronicled the day, shooting and editing footage for Instagram Stories, prompting one in three of the 240k and rapidly growing Instagram followers to ask questions during a live AMA session, and creating a true sense of global community as the game’s launch button was pushed by its most fêted players.
"Waste have been an invaluable strategic, creative and production partner right from the earliest days of Brawl Stars. Their no-nonsense approach to content creation and intrinsic knowledge of the game has been integral to the Brawl stars journey, from before we went into beta through to global launch. Waste have been there with us every step of the way."
Ryan Lighton, Community Manager
We’re incredibly proud to have been Supercell’s key strategic and creative partner on the launch, and we continue to work on growing, retaining, educating and entertaining its global fanbase.