LONDON: Xbox, the Microsoft-owned games console, has reported encouraging early results from its partnership with media company JOE as it seeks to reach its target audience of Gen Z consumers.

“We had a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor,” Ryan Miles, media lead at Xbox, told an audience at ad:tech London, as he outlined how the brand had been approached when JOE was developing a new program.

Total Tekkers is a weekly, 30-minute skills-based football show that showcases the abilities of members of the football freestyle community known as ‘tekkers’, as well as talking to well-known professional footballers and guests from the wider media world.

The partnership with Xbox sees a branded segment in every show where guests face off against each other on the Xbox One S, playing FIFA 18 in various challenges. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Cracking branded entertainment for Gen Z with Xbox and JOE.)

“It was a really natural fit there,” said Miles. “FIFA is such an important title in terms of gaming across Europe, and for us as a console the whole ‘plays better on Xbox One’ was something we [already] had.”

The tie-up also met Gen Z’s requirement for authenticity and by blending in with the entertainment Xbox was able to bring the product to life in an unforced manner. “It just worked in so many ways.”

While the show is streamed live, segments are edited for seeding on social media where they are being shared by the target audience.

“It becomes social currency among their peers,” said Miles. “And if you've got one of them sharing to many and they share to many again, that’s where you start to get success and you start to make inroads in terms of cut-through.”

He reported that view times for the branded segments were reaching nearly 500,000 people a week and view times were consistently “well above ten seconds” with some pieces being viewed for as long as one minute.

"We’ve proved to ourselves that this type of partnership is fantastic for our brand," said Miles.

Sourced from WARC