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  • Writer's pictureAni Phelan

EA Need for Speed

Fuelled by an enthusiastic and content-hungry fan base, EA’s Need for Speed (NFS) is one of the world’s most successful racing game franchises. EA needed an efficient way to manage their social media marketing and sustain the fan fervor that makes NFS so successful.

These are exactly the kinds of challenges we love – so we dove in.

Under the hood – discovering car culture

As we immersed ourselves in the world of fan sites, leaderboards, and gaming blogs, we discovered that NFS players are more than just gamers. They’re car enthusiasts. In fact, it’s their passion for cars that really fuels their loyalty. We decided to take advantage of this untapped potential. By giving each car its own online identity, one that fans could like, share, or comment on, we created an entirely new stream of content for fans to consume.

Driving Facebook success through content strategy

As any digital marketer worth her salt will tell you, you have to be where your fans are. So we worked closely with NFS community managers to encourage more social activity by priming content for sharing. Following our efforts, we saw the number of NFS Facebook fans increase from 600,000 to 4 million in a matter of months – a signal that the fan engagement strategy was on track and resonating strongly.

Autolog – EA's innovative console-to-web platform

Console-to-web is the new frontier in gaming but EA has been a pioneer in this area since the release of Hot Pursuit in 2010. Through Autolog, EA’s console-to-web platform, players access and share game stats, photos, and recommendations on the web, Facebook, and their mobile devices.

We were proud to participate in the development of Autolog for recent NFS titles – from early concepts right through to implementation. By deepening players’ engagement with the game, we helped strengthen their loyalty to the brand and spread their passion for NFS racing through their social graph.

Opening the throttle for fast-paced content delivery

In the highly competitive gaming industry, quick marketing reflexes are everything. EA needed infrastructure that would support instant publishing across multiple web, mobile, and social media platforms. So we set out to devise solutions that would help shift the focus from troubleshooting technology to meeting marketing targets.

First, we unified disparate NFS sites under a new multi-site publishing platform. With a single click, EA can now quickly and easily publish content across all web properties in the NFS franchise.

We also implemented a unique tagging system, so that everyone – from a seasoned gamer to a new fan – can easily find what they are looking for.

With highly social content and a one-stop publishing system, EA can now focus on the job at hand – engaging fans with their high-adrenalin content.

The Outcome

The metrics tell the story:

  • By focusing user engagement on car culture with a focus on car photos (both real and in-game photos), we were able to dramatically increase Origin registrations (data is under NDA) and social engagement.

  • Traffic and page views for have tripled.

  • Facebook fan base lifted from 600,000 to over 7 million in 18 months. It now stands at over 17 million.

  • The number of YouTube videos watched nearly doubled to total over 41,000,000 views!

  • The number of Twitter followers more than doubled to crack the 62,000 mark!

And according to EA, our most recent launch of Autolog was their most successful Autolog web/game integration launch, including, for the first time, mobile web and a Facebook app.

We iterated on the property over close to 4 years and introduced mechanisms for tracking user behaviors and providing users with more relevant content in order to increase purchasing intent.   

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