CandidSky’s campaign of the week (07.02.2020)

The marketing campaign that caught our eye this week.


This week, a new Rough Guide was launched. It’s a classic travel guide, full of helpful tips and expert recommendations. The catch? The locations don’t actually exist – not all of them, anyway.

A Rough Guide to Xbox

The Rough Guide to Xbox was launched at this year’s London Olympia’s “Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show”.

Every image, every description, and every recommendation focuses on a location in an Xbox game. You’ll spot sights from Assassin’s Creed, Anthem, Halo 5, Tomb Raider, and more. The shots are taken by specialist in-game photographers, with copy written by Rough Guide.

The copy and the photos seem, on the face of it, like any other Rough Guide. And the writers had fun with it:

“What makes Strider Way so special is the way that the waterfalls here seem almost intentionally arranged to decorate this blissfully peaceful corner” – probably our favourite line.

The guide encourages people to stray from their typical gameplay and explore more of the gaming world. It generates interest in the Xbox console and its games. It highlights the console’s quality of imaging and technology. And, most importantly, it makes you want to explore for yourself.

Ultimately, the guide shines a different light on the gaming experience. We’re forced to focus on what gamers might otherwise ignore: the detail and quality of surroundings (and so, the console and games), all free from the action we’d expect to see. And in a totally unexpected format. It’s guerrilla marketing at its best.

All proceeds from the guide will be donated to SpecialEffects: a charity working to make gaming more accessible to those with disabilities. The charity has obvious links with Xbox. Their work will resonate with Xbox’s audience of gamers. And knowing the money will be donated could encourage people to buy the guide.

Even though the guide itself isn’t really what’s being sold – it’s the gaming experience – the guide is just showing it off.

Reality of travel

This isn’t the first time Xbox has pushed the virtual tourism concept.

The travel guide is the latest piece in ‘Visit Xbox’ – a campaign promoting their Xbox One X Enhanced. You’ll find a string of videos, in-game photographs, virtual tours, and interactive streaming experiences.

When augmented reality is a hot topic, the idea of virtual travel is bound to grab attention. Xbox isn’t doing anything especially new – their Xbox One X Enhanced games are updated versions with added effects in 4K and HDR output.

But they’re framing themselves in a different way. They’re not just presenting games to play. They’re offering virtual tourism. They launched the guide at a travel event, cementing themselves in the industry. It means they’re providing a much more immersive digital experience – without changing the product much at all.

Images from Creative Review and Campaign Live.

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