Since the mid-nineties, V has managed to ward off its enemies to maintain its #1 position in the NZ energy drink market. But it hasn’t always been easy keeping a bunch of 18-24 year olds with low attention spans interested and involved in the brand, staying true to V’s proposition of “always on”.
To help the cause, V Robbers, was created. People competed in this online game to steal their share of $100,000 while preventing their own stash from being stolen. Alternatively, codes could be used to protect cash from prospective thieves for set periods of time.
Using their Facebook accounts to register, players began their life of crime by assuming an alias. Searching out other criminals in hiding, finding out the size of their stash and using codes from promotional V cans, they attempted to “crack” the other robbers’ safes. How much they were able to steal was dependent on how quickly they completed the challenges and once the swag was bagged, they could brag about it on Facebook and Twitter, playing to their competitive streak whilst encouraging them to spread word of the game.
At the conclusion of the game players were sent a cheque for the actual amount of money they had managed to steal and hold on to.
Although the campaign had its heart in digital and social, V Robbers was also promoted through integrated media partnerships and above-the-line communications cheekily encouraging “illegal” behaviour. Headlines like “Crime Does Pay” and “Good Things Come to Those Who Steal,” popped up around the country in a guerrilla-style campaign, sometimes in places that were, well, not strictly legal.
V Robbers was a phenomenal success, with nearly 18,000 players clocking up 6,796 hours of game play to commit 123,585 robberies. The online retargeting strategy ensured existing V communities were leveraged and, at the same time, encouraged to socialise their gameplay with their networks (+11m Facebook impressions alone), gaining plenty of new fans along the way.
By the end of the V-fuelled crime spree, not only had sales gone up, so had brand measures, proving once and for all that crime really does pay.