Last Month, EA released “Need for Speed: Heat,” the latest title in the decades-old video game franchise. Ahead of the release, EA sought to promote the use and download of Need for Speed Heat Studio, an app supplemental to the NFS Heat console game that allows users to create playable custom cars.
With the help of BEN, EA partnered with Youtube star David Dobrik for a sponsored video and social media campaign to promote the game and precursory app. BEN facilitated the connection between EA and Dobrik, who has a global audience of 14.6 million subscribers.
Brand Storytelling spoke with Greg Alleger (Director of Client Services, BEN) to learn more about the ideation, product, and outcome of this BEN-facilitated partnership and what makes for great brand/influencer pairings:
How did BEN go about bringing this brand and influencer, who seem like a very natural fit, together?
Ahead of the release of “Need for Speed: Heat,” the latest title in the legacy Need for Speed franchise, Electronic Arts (EA) aimed to generate social buzz and drive downloads of Need for Speed Heat Studio, a supplementary app where users customize cars that they can later use in the game.
BEN helped to organize a meeting with Dobrik and EA to talk through what he was passionate about. We started some basic brainstorming and he lit up with the idea of giving a Lamborghini to one of his friends. Given his status in the space, his passion for cars, and his history of giving cars to friends and family, it became clear that NFS Heat was a perfect fit.
Who’s present and participating in the ideation process once creator/creative talent like Dobrik and a brand like EA are put together?
Once we had the high-level idea locked in, it was time to flesh out the details. We had several meetings involving BEN, EA, David, and his team to chat through bringing this idea to life, what it would look like, and how we could tie in EA’s goal of driving awareness and downloads to the new customization app.
What was the resulting content plan?
David Dobrik promoted “Need for Speed: Heat” in his video “Surprising Best Friend With Lamborghini!!”, and encouraged his audience to download the Heat Studio app, design a car and tweet him a screenshot of their designs with the hashtag #NFSHeatStudio. Later in the video, EA and Dobrik gifted a brand-new Lamborghini Huracán to Vlog Squad member, Heath Hussar.
Through this partnership, EA was not only able to drive downloads and app installs of the new customization app, Need for Speed Heat Studio; but also boost awareness of the upcoming new release of the video game.
What were the results of the campaign?
In under 48 hours after release, David Dobrik’s video earned more than 8.7 million views and achieved the number one trending spot on YouTube. The video currently has over 14M views on YouTube.
The hashtag associated with the campaign, #NFSHeatStudio, started trending and was featured in more than 7,200 tweets within the first 6 hours after Dobrik’s video released. Several major media outlets, including Insider and ET Live, picked up on the buzz and reported on the campaign.
What details do you look for at the beginning of facilitating a partnership like this one that will most greatly affect the end result?
It's all about passion. We worked to align what David is passionate about with an objective that EA had. The video was so successful because nothing felt forced, and all parties got exactly what they wanted to from the piece - David got to give his friend a Lamborghini resulting in some great content, and EA was able to raise awareness for their new title and generate app downloads.
For more from Branded Entertainment Network, find them at Brand Storytelling 2020, A Sanctioned Event of the Sundance Film Festival.
About Greg Alleger
Greg Alleger (Director of Client Services, Branded Entertainment Network) is the client lead for Electronic Arts, which is a great match given his passion and experience in gaming. He has been at BEN for over 5 years and has worked in various roles in the digital influencer side of the business, both client and influencer facing. During his tenure, he has led key initiatives to help brands connect with content creators and their engaged audiences. Greg leads campaigns across YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch and currently resides in Provo, UT.