US developer MZ (Machine Zone) is famous in the games industry for its marketing campaigns that employ the services of well-known celebrities.
For its first mobile title, 4X strategy title Game Of War, the company brought in model and actress Kate Upton to be the face of its TV adverts.
Following the success of those adverts, which helped Game of War consistently be a top downloaded game as well as a top grosser on mobile, it brought in singer Mariah Carey to front its new adverts.
It followed up these marketing efforts with a similar tactic for its next game, Mobile Strike, securing the services of The Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to front its adverts - which included expensive TV spots during the Super Bowl.
These adverts only formed part of a marketing campaign for these games, which also featured playable ads within mobile games, but their impact was undeniable in propelling MZ’s highly monetising games to the top of the mobile grossing charts and pushing them into the faces of millions of people around the world.
A new campaign
MZ’s third game Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire was launched earlier this year, and takes the same gameplay of its previous two hits and adds the world of Square Enix’s IP to the mix.
The game has had a quick start to life as a consistent top 50 grosser and more recently peaking inside the top 20 grossers on the US App Store, according to mobile market data firm App Annie.
To support the title, much like it did with Mobile Strike and Game of War, MZ has partnered with Instagram influencer and model Alexis Ren to star in its TV and digital ad campaign.
The deal was announced on August 24th, and shortly after that the game began hitting the top 30 grossing positions on the US App Store, occasionally breaking into the top 20.
Taken as a whole, MZ’s marketing campaign so far hasn’t been as consistent as it has been in the past with Game of War and Mobile Strike. Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire’s download ranking fluctuates from the top 100 on the US App Store to outside the top 200.
It’s difficult to compare the download rankings to past games without a look at the full marketing campaign, which doesn’t appear as pervasive as for previous titles in terms of in-game ads.
It’s notable too that MZ has seemingly pulled much of its advertising spend from Game of War and Mobile Strike, investing some of that cash to push Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire and focusing on different channels to find its audience.
Taking a look MZ’s Final Fantasy trailers on YouTube, the debut video starring Alexis Ren on the game’s official channel has racked up five million views. A further condensed trailer scored over 500,000 views..
Moving on over to Instagram to Ren’s account, where Ren frequently posts photos, to her 10.9 million followers, the partnership has garnered millions more views for Final Fantasy.
One trailer posted on August 25th has scored 3.6 million views to date, another on September 22nd has had over 1.4 million so far.
Harnessing the services of an Instagram influencer has allowed MZ to reach new audiences while at the same time providing it with a recognisable face for its TV ads.
And while perhaps not yet as big as its campaigns for Game of War and Mobile Strike, securing the services of a popular influencer, combined with the well known Final Fantasy IP and strong monetisation of its 4X strategy games, has helped make the game another top grossing hit for MZ.