Magic: The Gathering is a game of strategy and wits. It stands in contrast to many of the most popular video games, which are based on reflex and speed. We used this truth to tap into the innate competitiveness of gamers by challenging them to put down their sports games and shooters and put their intelligence to the test. Our creative and media strategy were developed in concert to deliver customized ads contextually targeted to the specific video game content users were consuming at any given moment—positioning Magic as the ultimate intellectual gaming challenge. We targeted both mainstream and niche game with ads that parodied language from each genre to taunt gamers into testing their skills with Magic.
Partnerships with influential content providers like Kongregate and Revision3 provided engaging branded "air cover" while on-console advertising allowed us to reach gamers where they could take the most immediate action—downloading Magic’s Duels of the Planeswalker video game demo. We combined this with relentless media and creative optimization to achieve incredible efficiency.
Midway through the campaign we had already achieved our $4 cost-per-demo-download goal. As a reward, Hasbro asked us to double-down and try to hit $2-per-demo-download which we nearly reached at $2.34. Branded content programs with Kongregate and Revision3 generated a significant volume of unpaid media impressions, with the former driving over 11,000 demo downloads. Overall, we helped Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 become the most successful launch of any Magic: The Gathering game.