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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Trials of Fate: The Sweepstakes

Finalist in Contest or Promotion

Entered in Gamification, On a Shoestring



The campaign for FINAL FANTASY XVI aimed to generate substantial awareness and anticipation for the game's upcoming release on June 22nd, recognizing the significance of a mainline FINAL FANTASY title, which is typically released only once every 5-8 years. The challenge was to reach a broad audience beyond existing fans, considering diverse gaming preferences.


In response to feedback from fans expressing the challenge of acquiring a PS5 and subsequently being unable to purchase our games, we were inspired to address this issue proactively. We saw an opportunity not only to build anticipation for the game but also to provide a solution for fans facing hardware limitations.


Idea and Strategy:

The campaign strategy began with in-depth research, analyzing contest and sweepstakes statistics, complemented by a study of game design principles.


The core idea behind the campaign was to design an interactive and enjoyable marketing activation. Leveraging the insights gained from the research, a sweepstakes format was selected, providing participants with the opportunity to win coveted prizes, including PS5s, in exchange for their brand engagement. To ensure the campaign stood out in the gaming community, this approach had a unique twist to set it apart…



The primary objective of the campaign was to create a significant level of engagement and excitement surrounding the game's launch. A key target was to receive 1 million entries throughout the campaign's duration. This objective aligned with the overarching goal of enhancing the game's visibility and building anticipation among gamers

Strategy and Execution


To bring the campaign to life, several key steps were taken, ensuring a seamless and engaging experience for participants. These steps included:


Legal and Compliance: Navigating the legal landscape for this distinctive campaign required an unconventional approach compared to traditional sweepstakes. The campaign's unique features demanded a creative legal strategy, leading us to carefully craft campaign rules along with terms and conditions to provide clear guidelines to participants while upholding legal compliance. This approach ensured the campaign remained exciting, legally sound, and distinct from the ordinary.


Initial Concept and Mockup Creation: The campaign journey began with an in-depth exploration of contest and sweepstakes statistics and best practices, combined with a study of various game design principles. Subsequently, a detailed mockup of the minigame was crafted, incorporating the insights gained from our research. The concept was then shared with the team for input and enhancement.


Refinement and Game Mechanics: After approval, the campaign underwent further refinement. We developed unique game mechanics to deliver a special player experience while balancing the game for maximum engagement.


Cross-Team Collaboration: Concurrently, collaboration was initiated with various teams, including web, social, CRM, localization, creative, and more to ensure that all aspects of the campaign were well-prepared for launch, from digital assets to communication plans.


Ongoing Engagement: Following the campaign launch, ongoing engagement strategies were employed to maintain participant interest. Periodic reminders and the introduction of novel elements, such as new entries, within the activation window kept the momentum alive, driving continuous engagement.


Unique Features:

While resembling a sweepstakes, this campaign boasts distinctive elements meant to set it apart:


Diverse Entry Actions: Instead of limiting participants to one or two actions, such as subscribing to our email or following us on Twitter, we designed the campaign to offer multiple options. This provided participants with a sense of agency and allowed them to take control of their chance to win. The more passionate the participant, the more brand engagement they could demonstrate by selecting from over 20+ different actions, each contributing to their entry count. These actions varied in commitment level, helping to engage both newcomers and loyal fans.


Eikon Status: To motivate participants to go beyond the minimum required actions, we introduced the concept of "Eikon Status," signifying players who accumulated over 100+ entries. Eikon Status became the ultimate achievement, as it offered exclusive elements not available through the standard prize pool. This approach encouraged participants to invest more time and effort in engaging with our brand.


Tier Sharing Award: To expand the campaign's reach and encourage sharing, we devised a tier-based system. The number of prizes increased as total entries reached specific thresholds (e.g., 250K, 500K, 1M), providing participants with an extra incentive to share the contest and drive further engagement.


Earlier in the objectives section, we mentioned our goal was to reach 1 million entries by the end of the campaign. To our surprise, without paid media, influencer, and media support, we reached this objective in just 8 hours. The sweepstakes's performance is summarized as follows:


3.6M+ Entries (13767.9% above benchmark)

906K+ Actions (3322.49% above benchmark)

82K+ Players (1379.36% above benchmark)

15K+ Players achieved Eikon Status


Of course, the next question is: How does this translate into brand engagement metrics? Well luckily, we do have some stats to share:


180K+ Trailer Views

84K+ Blog Readers (3552.17% MoM)

19.9K+ Twitter Followers (939.16% MoM)

17.7K+ Twitch Followers (1375% MoM)

17K+ Retweets

12K+ Twitch Viewers/Engagers

12K+ New/Confirmed Pre-Orders

6.6K+ Referrals

4.8K+ Hashtag Mentions (#tofsweepstakes)


With 60% of our budget being cut midway through the campaign, we were able to achieve these results simply… for the price of 7 PS5s.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Square Enix

Entry Credits