X Games Energy gets socially animated

Disney's first energy drink, under its ESPN X Games label, is launching in Canada through a Gen Y-targeting social net campaign featuring the work of a renowned Quebec animator.

The first energy drink sold under Disney’s ESPN X Games label, X Games Energy, launched in Canada this month through a new Web 2.0 campaign featuring the work of YouTube star Patrick Boivin.

The social net campaign, which targets the 15-to-24 demo, centres on an animated can of X Games Energy, the hero of Boivin’s 3D stop-motion video, with a soundtrack of Quebec band Beast’s track ‘City.’ Users have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to attend X Games 15, a biennial event broadcast in 16 languages in over 200 countries, pegged as the world’s largest gathering of action sport champions in disciplines including skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, freestyle motocross and BMX.

The promo, which runs through June 30, was launched late last week on the brand’s new website, XGamesEnergy.com, and on YouTube, and sees about 2,000 views a day.

Developed and launched by ESPN Consumer Products with Montreal-based beverage co Base Concept, Canada gets first dibs on distribution of the product, which will be available at Couche-Tard, Ultramar and Mac’s stores, as well as some independent grocery stores and convenience stores during the lead-up to the X Games from July 30 to Aug. 2.

‘This age group is not an easy one to reach with traditional media’ explains Stéphane Boulay, VP marketing at Base Concept. ‘We wanted to reach the group in an affordable way while being perceived as creative, which is an important brand value for X Games and Base Concept,’ Boulay tells MiC.

‘Ultimately we want to get people to our website, engage them with the brand personality and product attributes and increase the relation with a sweeps promotion to X Games 15, which is a strong asset for us. It is the ultimate expression of the brand: be at the X Games.’

Part of a new generation of Web 2.0 artists, Boivin is known internationally for his video clips featuring Transformers figurines and as the designer of the first interactive games on YouTube – his ‘Street Fighters’ clip alone has been viewed more than 5 million times. Boivin’s recent productions include interactive videos for Indochine and Iggy Pop, who launched his new song on his channel.

The campaign is expected to continue on other social networks in coming days, including Twitter and Facebook, and will be coupled with direct mail to segmented profiles. Print campaigns targeting action sport magazines are also in the works.