For the recent Black Friday, R/GA partnered with the gaming company PONOS on the launch of a disruptive campaign for its mobile game The Battle Cats.
As part of the activation, the gaming brand’s social media channels were “hacked” by a criminal organization calling themselves ‘The OutCats,’ while PONOS also issued a statement detailing one of its warehouses has been targeted by thieves who have made off with 100 million cans of Cat Food – the game’s main currency.
The ‘OutCats’ Black Friday work is the first in this series of campaigns aimed to take the brand narrative to new places The Battle Cats fans will never expect.
The work is the first in a new long-term creative innovation partnership between R/GA Japan and PONOS.
The campaign was developed to increase the reach and reputation of PONOS’s iconic mobile game brand The Battle Cats, mainly in the North American market. With this campaign, the R/GA Japan team kicked off a co-creative innovation journey with PONOS’s game creators to take the game to the next level – by developing a series of unexpected creative campaigns that will excite, intrigue, and expand The Battle Cats’ fan base.
Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, PONOS has appointed R/GA as its creative innovation partner to create a strategic framework on how to drive innovative narratives and creative campaigns that ring true to active fans, bring new game fans into the world of The Battle Cats, and revive old fans who used to play the game.
“We were delighted to be chosen as PONOS’s global innovation partner to drive its US market expansion and help take the brand and its iconic game to new creative heights,” said Anthony Baker, General Manager, R/GA Japan.
“This partnership gives us an exciting opportunity to work on a brief with a real difference. They are a brave, innovative company – and we love how they always try to do what’s best for their fans. Now that our first campaign is out there, we look forward to what else the OutCats have in store – and how The Battle Cats will respond!”
Specific to the Black Friday campaign, PONOS announced that 100 million cans of cat food had been stolen by the OutCats, alongside a “hostile” takeover of its platforms – generating mild panic and buzz in the gaming fraternity.
In a video posted on the “hijacked” accounts, the OutCats revealed that they are made up of individuals rejected by The Battle Cats nine years ago. Their latest antics are a revenge tactic to distribute contraband to the players – with everyone who logs on to the game automatically receiving 999 cans of Cat Food.
The work was co-created by PONOS’s game creators and R/GA teams across its global network including Japan, the United States, and Argentina. Longer term, R/GA and its partner PONOS are working on additional campaigns and strategies to drive new user acquisition, customer loyalty, as well as growing the brand’s paid user base. Taking inspiration from PONOS’s tagline “GO FAR BEYOND,” the R/GA creative team plans to delight and surprise audiences by showing up in unexpected ways.
Since the original version of the game for the Japanese market was released in 2012 and the English version “The Battle Cats” for US fans and fans around the world was released in 2014, The Battle Cats has grown to become an acclaimed tower defense strategy game that has amassed more than 85 million downloads.