Microsoft Xbox One
Face of Fandom
Starcom MediaVest Group

When a new video game console launches, consumers just want to pull it out of the box, hook it up and start playing. Yet, updates and functionality are now a part of owning a console, so there is a lot that needs to be managed for a user experience to go smoothly. With the Xbox One promising more capabilities and technology than any console in history, the opportunity for error increased by a considerable margin.

Everything had to be done to insure that first adopters, who will carry the conversation forward to the next wave of console buyers, are happy on launch day.

For the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft knew hundreds of thousands of people would be logging on at once to start their next phase of entertainment. They wanted to connect this vibrant community of first adopters and thank them for joining in from the beginning.

On the night of the Xbox One launch event in Times Square, Microsoft turned the spotlight onto its fans and honored them for being the first adopters by putting their names up in lights. As gamers signed up online and selected a new Xbox One avatar to represent their appearance, their avatars were displayed on one of the largest and most prominent billboards in the Square.

As Microsoft welcomed gamers to the new Xbox One community, fans’ #XboxOne posts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine were also displayed as a dynamic mosaic on another billboard. Fans were encouraged to sign up and post online and in and around Times Square from their phones, in conjunction with the live launch event happening in Best Buy Theater down the street with a performance by the musician Macklemore.

Not only did the display help give this community a face and a prominent outlet for self-expression; it became a recognition of gratitude from Xbox to their fans. For many, the gaming experience is a solitary one until they connect virtually with their friends and fellow gamers. This was a way for Microsoft and Xbox to facilitate connections between people and create community.

At launch, Xbox One received over 1 Million posts across social media, more than 8x the average daily conversation volume. And the consoles went flying off the shelves; over 1 Million Xbox One units were sold in the first 24 hours of launch!