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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

WoWifying the World

Winner in X Presence


World of Warcraft (WoW) has been at the forefront of online gaming for 20 years. We have released nine expansions over two decades, each bringing fresh gaming content to a massive, global audience of millions of players. 

That legacy provides distinct advantages for social media, but also unique obstacles. 2023 exemplified both, allowing countless opportunities to leverage that rich history into memorable posts. It also demanded consistent reinvention to keep messaging and brand voice fresh. 

As a game that has been around longer than many, how do we ensure we’re top of mind for all our players?

The answer to this important question was all around us. By bringing the brand from the digital realm of Azeroth into everyday life, we realized we could utilize our vast catalog of narrative and art, pair it with clever copywriting and visually engaging assets, to create a truly unique social experience for our audience.

And so, 2023 became the year we WoWified the world.

Strategy and Execution

Our WoWifying the world strategy consisted of three primary pillars designed to maximize engagement:

  1. Recontextualizing trending or timeless memes to create a version specifically tailored to our audience.
  2. Moving fast. When a suitable subject was found, speedy mobilization and execution was critical.
  3. Continuing to prioritize and expand accessibility.

Beyond those tenants, the key to success was bridging the gap between the World of Warcraft and our world. 

To do that, we had to get creative. 

WoW has a versatile game camera, which provides the ability to duplicate existing images with our unique spin. We leveraged this tool to create our twist on target memes, allowing us to WoWify content with brand-specific visuals. By utilizing fan-favorite characters and in-game references carefully targeted to our players, we could further amplify the performance of these pieces.

A few highlights from 2023 included our responses to Snoop Dogg ‘giving up smoke’, NASA discovering a question mark in space, the nationwide text alert that had people worried about turning into zombies, and of course, the Grimace shake conversation. 

We were also very aware that even the highest quality assets aren’t good enough if our entire audience can’t participate. Accessibility had to be at the forefront of this strategy, so we revamped our alt text strategy to further prioritize inclusivity.

Our goal was clear: Create alt text that translates the visuals of an image successfully; text that articulates the humor, Easter eggs, and all other subtleties present in the visual design. We needed to maintain accuracy, but also creatively adapt descriptions to preserve and even enhance the often complex message of our images.

In cases where the visual humor of an asset was challenging to describe accurately, we used creative copy structure and experimental styles that effectively channeled that intent. Instead of aiming for unflinching accuracy, we prioritized emulating the emotional experience of viewing the asset.

Culturally relevant posting opportunities often appeared outside of our normal workflow, so identifying these moments, executing our response quickly, and appropriately contextualizing that moment in the World of Warcraft allowed us to resonate with our playerbase in a way only we could.

It wasn’t easy. Successful redirection of our limited resources required team-wide effort, but once it became clear how creatively rewarding these projects were, paired with the exceptional audience response, it was clear we were on the right track. 


Creating a WoWified world had a massive impact.

Our version of the Pepe Silvia meme drove exceptional engagement on X, earning 429% more total engagements (and 778% more reposts) than the median post on the platform. Our take on the “admin reveal” trend had an even greater impact, with 774% more engagements and 1052% more reposts than our median X post. 

After implementing our alt-text refresh, we received a lot of positive feedback. Even some audience members not using screen readers commented on the improved alt text, which was a most welcome acknowledgement of our efforts.

Our prioritization of topic-focused production has resulted in a notable uptick in audience positivity over the last year, including a follower retention rate on Twitter/X 2x over previous non-expansion years. Audience engagement on social helped drive player retention within the game as well, making 2023 one of the best years for World of Warcraft yet.

The conversation extended outside of social channels as well. Several posts were further amplified by gaming news outlets (, including multiple features on GameRant. Our community also reposted content to Reddit with strong performance there as well (4.2k upvotes for the Snoop Dogg parody).

By combining clever manipulation of in-game footage, creative copywriting, exceptionally quick asset development turnaround, and an evolved accessibility strategy, we managed to execute an effective year-long social strategy that delighted current fans and brought in many new ones. 

So here’s to 2024…and another year of WoWifying the world. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Blizzard Entertainment


Entry Credits