The "Unblockable" Media Plan

As part of the second annual Intel Gamer Days, an online sales event across 40+ gaming partners, Intel was challenged to break through to an elusive, and notorious ad blocking, gamer audience by driving interest and excitement for the event, with the ultimate goal of increasing PC sales. So, Intel took a page out of the gamers’ playbook and “hacked the system” through a first-of-its-kind unblockable media plan.  

 What Intel knew about gamers: they are competitive and love to be first at everything (2X more likely to try the latest trends before any of their friends). Gamers are an extremely coveted audience (spending 6X more a month on entertainment), and are not just digitally savvy, they’re technically savvy and their spend has gone largely unseen due to their partiality for ad blockers. 

Igniting F.O.M.O 

First, Intel ignited F.O.M.O and bolstered urgency of the event at scale, focused on influential PC gamers to seed anticipation amongst the gaming community. Intel premiered Twitter’s first ever live countdown clock driving anticipation and reminded gamers of the upcoming Intel Gamer Days event. Pioneering an industry first ad product with Brave Browser, an innovative web browser that improves browsing speed and protects privacy by blocking traditional 3rd party ads. Instead, user’s opt-in for “push notification ads” and are rewarded for their attention with a cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token. In addition, Intel’s live video integrations across IGN’s daily Snapchat shows, short-form video across OTT, “Heart to Subscribe” opt-in messaging via Twitter and hard coded video placements across Twitch made Intel Gamer Days top-of-mind leading into the event 

Intel converted the F.O.M.O into sales, heavily relying on retargeting tactics including push notifications across Brave and Twitter opt-ins, Reddit promoted posts and geofenced media surrounding brick and mortar stores via endemic gaming partners (IGN, PC Gamer, Fandom, etc).    

Intel drove so much F.O.M.O., the Intel Gamer Days website crashed on launch day due to a surge of site visitors. Their ad block strategy decreased website bounce rates by 40%, and creative  tactics outperformed benchmark resulting in 11pp ad recall lift for Twitter push notifications and a 14pp lift in eSports leadership for users exposed to the Twitter countdown clock. In addition, Brave’s opt-in push notification ad experience shattered industry benchmarks with a 12.9% CTR. 

Results

Sales rose: +42% total units sold increase YoY, and +71% sales lift compared to previous weeks (+14% benchmark set in 2018, +28% targeted in 2019).  And partners benefited: manufacturers sales grew 22% YoY. Retailers collectively drove a +118% incremental sales run rate versus the period leading up to Intel Gamer Days

Get In Touch