Planned by: Chris Gallery (now at Mother), Tom Rothenberg
Agency: McCann Erickson
Brand: Xbox Halo 3
Setting the right goal is a vital skill for planners. Aim for a slight improvement over the previous year and that's what you'll get. But set the right ambition and amazing things might happen.
In McCann Erickson's paper, the launch for the video game Halo 3 is benchmarked against the highest-grossing movie premiere (for Spiderman 3) and the highest-grossing book launch (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows) to date. The goal is to give this sequel in the Halo franchise an audience beyond its existing fan base and, in doing so, break the record for first-day revenues for all entertainment categories.
Interesting things happen en route to fulfilling this goal. The hero's story - and not the cutting-edge graphics and gameplay - are made the focus of communications. And so Halo 3's protagonist, Master Chief, attains immortal status, beating both Spiderman and Harry Potter to the best sales day in entertainment history.