In early 2017, DraftKings conducted quantitative and qualitative research to assess the health of its brand, identify perceptions that needed to be addressed and ascertain the drivers and barriers to playing its games. This research uncovered that there are two kinds of football fans: those who prefer to sit back and watch and others who lean in and participate in the game they love by playing fantasy football. Fantasy players are competitive, and love to be as close to the sport as possible — but they were unaware of DraftKings' product offering and how it stacked up against season-long — particularly when it came to remedying the pain points that they experience with season-long. DraftKings' overall goal was to grow its business by targeting traditional, season-long fantasy players who had not yet tried daily fantasy sports, as well as avid sports fans during the entire NFL season. This social campaign also needed to address brand perceptions that had prevented season-long fantasy players from playing before as well as be flexible to highlight specific moments throughout the NFL season where DraftKings previously saw a decrease in customer acquisition such as Thanksgiving and the Holidays.
For the 2017 NFL season, DraftKings drew on the insight from their research and developed a creative solution that highlighted the deficiencies of season-long fantasy and reinforced how DraftKings offered a better experience. This was brought to life through a spokesperson/character called Dr. Aftkings, a fantasy doctor, who prescribed DraftKings as the antidote to the maladies of season-long fantasy sports. Creative reinforced awareness of DraftKings and its product offerings, demonstrated to customers how to play, and drove app downloads and conversions throughout the entire season.
For week-1, DraftKings developed a library of creative assets to use across all social platforms, featuring Dr. Aftkings. Storylines included:
Upon the success of week-1, DraftKings developed two new social campaigns using Dr. Aftkings to bring season-long players who already lost their season-long league to DraftKings, as well as keep the current DraftKings customer engaged in fantasy football. Enter Thanxiety and Seasonitis.
DraftKings drew upon the stressful holiday of Thanksgiving, knowing their players would travel to be with family and friends and be forced to engage in political debates and stung with evasive questions from those at the dinner table. DraftKings called this feeling "Thanxiety," and the only way to treat Thanxiety is with DraftKings. Their campaign used Dr. Aftkings' medical expertise to take players through the causes and symptoms of this unfortunate condition with painfully relatable examples of uncomfortable situations associated with Thanksgiving. At the end of each piece of content, Dr. Aftkings made his conclusion clear: the only way to get through Thanksgiving unharmed is to play DraftKings.
For the holiday season, DraftKings continued with their NFL theme and brought Dr. Aftkings in to diagnose & cure "Seasonitis," the dreaded condition people in season long leagues are suffering from as they slope into a depression about the season ending. It's how season-long fantasy football makes you feel when you've got nothing to play for. Dr. Aftkings addressed this cohort by taking players through the causes and symptoms of this unfortunate condition, but reminded them that they could still win where it counts: With a fresh lineup each week and games throughout the playoffs, there's still plenty to play for on DraftKings.
The Dr. Aftkings campaign (Preseason – Holidays) was very successful in driving brand awareness and consideration for the DraftKings product and establishing Dr. Aftkings as an identifiable, engaging spokesperson/character for the brand.
Combined, the three seasonal campaigns served the same purpose of driving awareness and consideration for DraftKings, targeting short windows of time (3-4 weeks) where fans are most susceptible to season-long drag and fantasy wareout.
The three campaigns reached a total of 19MM people, producing 13.2MM Video Views, and 153K Engagments with the content. One of the most compelling stats came from their Nielsen "Brand Effects" Study (NBE), conducted with Twitter – which showed a 10.5% Brand Awareness Lift for DraftKings, among consumers that had seen at least (1) of our campaign ads.
All of the folks reached were within a targeting set focused on Season Long Fantasy Sports as opposed to current, existing, fans of our product. In other words, DraftKings reached 19MM new people who were not already interacting with our brand.