Ubisoft's campaign that hooked gamers on "Watch Dogs" before they played the real thing captured the top honour at the 44th annual Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) Awards Gala on Friday night in Toronto. Winner of the 2014 CMA Best of the Best Award, the campaign was developed by Publicis Montreal.
"Ubisoft's campaign for Watch Dogs Live raised the industry bar on what's possible in the world of digitally integrated advertising," noted CMA President and CEO John Gustavson. "It also delivered against a tough target group where technological innovation isn't just enjoyed -- it's expected and takes a truly inventive campaign to connect with fans."
The Watch Dogs campaign featured an app that allowed players to experience the game in real life by turning their smartphones into hacking devices. Using geo-location, players were challenged to "hack" thousands of targets all across the country. Each hack earned them points, putting them higher on a national leader board as they competed for a 2014 Scion and the title of Canada's Top Hacker. Ubisoft also cleverly incented users to pre-order the real game to receive special in-app bonuses that improved their chances of winning. Watch Dogs Live surpassed all measurable expectations. They doubled their target goal with 200,000 downloads and earned a top 5 spot on the App Store's game chart. Players hacked more than 8 million targets and the game's 80% engagement rate was unprecedented for a free mobile gaming app, according to the CMA Awards submission.
The CMA Awards Gala is the largest marketing awards event in Canada. A full list of CMA Award winners can be found on the CMA website.