Elevating the Final Fantasy XVI Launch: “Ask The Experts"
Working on the Final Fantasy XVI launch was an absolute thrill ride. The franchise, celebrated globally by a dedicated fanbase, wanted to create resonance with even wider audiences. Our mission: to showcase the evolving nature of Final Fantasy and usher in a broader audience.
Refreshing Gamers’ Perceptions of ‘Final Fantasy’
Over the past decades, the Final Fantasy series has amassed a cult following, with loyal fans chomping at the bit to get their hands on the latest instalment. The series has traditionally been celebrated for its rich storytelling and multifaceted characters; with Final Fantasy XVI, the creators aimed to widen its appeal even further.
They sought to bridge the world of fantasy with a touch of grounded reality, utilising insights from real-world experts to help fans delve deeper into the lore. This approach would serve as a refreshing entry point, introducing the game's magic to both loyal followers and those new to the saga.
How We Approached The Challenge
Waste's strategic approach focused on highlighting familiar themes that would resonate with both our audiences, then packaging them up in engaging and informative content to leave a lasting impression. Leveraging our 17-year long expertise working with brands such as Nintendo and SEGA on strategy, creative direction, copywriting, shoot production, and editing, we embarked on a journey to unlock a relatable narrative for mainstream fans.
“Ask The Experts"
Waste's idea was to lean into core themes of Final Fantasy XVI, exploring the game’s ties to real world history and mythology to help our audiences relate to it.
We’d use these elements to connect the game and its new tone with existing fans and newcomers at the same time, by producing a series of high-quality videos that unveiled the world of Final Fantasy XVI through the eyes of real world experts — stimulating the curiosity of all viewers. These experts would delve into the game's myths, monsters, weapons, armour, and combat, comparing them to real-world counterparts. The videos would be presented in a slick and distinctive style, reminiscent of Final Fantasy's legacy, yet infused with that fresh perspective that was so sorely needed.
Our experts — monster expert Dr. Emily Zarka and weapons expert Matt Easton — were carefully chosen for their extensive knowledge and understanding of the core themes of the game. These established experts also brought with them their own followers, allowing us to reach new communities of potential players who may have otherwise not found the game.
Everything was carefully balanced. Fans of the series would be able to learn more about elements they love, while new fans would be inspired by how heavily detailed and thought-out the new game is. Expert commentary, coupled with real-world parallels, elevated the content's credibility.
"Final Fantasy as a series is legendary. We found 'Ask The Experts' as the best way to engage and inspire newcomers to the series while still entertaining diehard fans and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Our videos were welcomed by the dedicated fanbase enthusiastically, and reached many more people who now have a new game on their radar."
- Jamie Wallace, Lead Creative, Waste
A Strategic Partnership
In order to best reach a specific target audience and maximise the impact of the campaign, we partnered with NME, a prominent figure in entertainment media. This partnership allowed us to tap into NME's platform as a trusted source of content, enhancing the campaign's visibility, credibility, and resonance among our audience. We were able to leverage their platform to reach brand new audiences.
Both videos achieved extraordinary visibility, and performed so well as to be some of the highest-performing videos on NME.
"Creatures & Eikons" was the best-performing NME video since June 2021.
"Weapons & Combat" was the second-best performing NME video in the channel’s previous six months.
Both videos surpassed all KPIs and achieved a combined 960K views.
Wayne Greenwell, Senior Marketing Manager at Final Fantasy, said: "It's been a genuine pleasure working with Waste on the Experts content. I'm so happy with how it turned out."
We’re all about the numbers, so let’s talk data. In total, the videos achieved a remarkable combined impression count of 4,385,198, with 912,053 views.
“Working with Waste Creative was a delight, and their commitment to delivering top-notch executions truly stood out." - Yolande Vandenbulcke, Marketing Director, Square Enix
Over on social media, the campaign achieved a total of 12,090,397 impressions. The campaign surpassed its goals across various social platforms, exceeding the impression targets with a count of 12,088,205. Similarly, the views outperformed targets, achieving a noteworthy 2,593,591.
“This was an amazing one to work with Waste on! I love the final output and I’m very happy to see it exceed the reach and engagement KPIs we set for it.” - Jason Psarras, Marketing Manager, Square Enix
In partnership with Square Enix, Waste's "Ask The Experts" campaign successfully brought the world of Final Fantasy XVI to life, making it more accessible and engaging to mainstream RPG gamers.