By adaptive - October 3rd, 2016

A negative campaign has had some positive effects for a mobile social gaming platform maker, Seriously. The company’s mobile viral video is notable by warning people “not to download” the game and also for enlisting a network TV star alongside famous YouTube celebrities.

The promotion boosted downloads of Seriously’s “Best Fiends” puzzler to a record 5.5 downloads per second during the campaign, which compares to an average of one per second.

Seriously co-founder/CEO Andrew Stalbow discussed the campaign with Open Mobile Media’s Robert Gray.


OMM: What was the idea behind the campaign—creating a video that tells people not to play the game?

Stalbow: We created the Saturday Night Live-style video for “Don’t Download Best Fiends” as a love letter to our fans - quite a lot of people were ‘faux warning’ their friends not to download the game, because it is fun and quite addictive! The campaign combines the best of Hollywood talent, Kate Walsh from Grey’s Anatomy, with the best of YouTube talent, Rosanna Pansino and Joey Graceffa, to create a hilarious campaign poking fun at our fans’ obsession with playing the Best Fiends mobile game.


OMM: Why did you decide to use a traditional TV star in Kate Walsh alongside YouTube stars?

Stalbow:We have taken a unique approach to our marketing campaigns through the use of influencers to cut through and attract new players.

The campaign marks a ‘first’ where both traditional stars and influencers have joined forces not just with a branded video, but we also integrated the video back into the game.


OMM: How much of a boost did the campaign give you? Can you share numbers of downloads, longer sessions, etc.?

Stalbow: The campaign video has had over 12 million views across Facebook and YouTube in its first three weeks.

The video was part of a wider campaign that helped us to reach a new peak of over 2.35 million daily active players — and we also hit a new highest revenue day too!


OMM: Did you expand your market to attract a broader range of players?

Stalbow: We’d been working with other YouTubers to build our business through promotion in their content. This video marks the start of us building out our YouTube channel and approach to original, branded content, and we’re excited that the video has helped grow our Youtube subscribers by 100,000 in the first three weeks since it launched. You’ll see more videos from us over the next few months, including our first animated shorts set in the Best Fiends world!


OMM: How did this all tie into the World’s Largest Mobile Treasure hunt?

Stalbow: As part of the campaign, we launched the World’s Largest Mobile Treasure Hunt in the Best Fiends mobile game, where Walsh, Pansino and Graceffa, as well as 12 more of the biggest YouTube stars including Rachel Levin, Fine Brothers, VanossGaming and Brooklyn & Bailey, all hid personal themed icons in the game for players to find.  If players found all 15 symbols, they won a new, super rare, fiend character in the game. We’re selling these characters in the game for $9.99, so there was plenty of incentive! Players received hints for the hidden icons by watching the “Don’t Download Best Fiends” commercial and by checking out the influencers’ social platforms.


OMM: How many downloads and players does the game have these days?

Stalbow: Best Fiends has 45 million downloads with more than 2,000,000 daily active players.


OMM: The free-to-play “Best Fiends” game features an in-game non-profit partner. Will the philanthropic partnerships continue?

Stalbow: The Malaria No More sponsorship will continue in our first Best Fiends game and via one of our favorite Fiends integrated into the game, Edward the mosquito that is ashamed of his family’s blood-sucking past and has given up blood in favor of coconut water.

We will also have a new partnership lined up for our second game that we’ll reveal at our launch… we will be releasing our second game in the Best Fiends trilogy called ‘Best Fiends Forever’ this month.

Additionally, we worked with Apple this April in celebration of Earth Day to raise money and awareness for the World Wildlife Fund and held a “Race Against Slime” charity competition last holiday season.

Overall, we have raised about $500,000 for various charitable organizations, which is something we’re quite proud of.


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