Spotted: Toronto’s floating Xbox

The installation featured the work of local artists, game trailers and secret codes as part of a global OOH campaign.

Xbox Canada recently floated a four-storey version of Microsoft’s newest video game console in Toronto Harbour to celebrate its release.

To reach current and potential Xbox users, the brand created seven such physical installations in countries around the world, working in Canada with Salt XC and Veritas Communications.

According to Christina Verdurmen, integrated marketing communications lead at Xbox Canada, the 40-foot Xbox Series X console served as an art exhibit celebrating local Toronto artists and their interpretations of the console’s launch campaign tagline: “Power Your Dreams.”

The structure lights up, shows game trailers, provides game code giveaways and reveals a mysterious glyph that’s connected to an international puzzle – a virtual scavenger hunt in which fans can collect the strange symbols and share their findings on social media. Xbox Canada also hid game code giveaways in the content for some of its biggest launch titles such as Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassins Creed Valhalla.

All of the content was shown on the console in the water and streamed in real-time on Xbox Canada’s social channels.

“The approach, specifically for Toronto, was to create something bold that could be seen by many without having to physically gather, due to concerns with crowd gathering with COVID,” says Jil Lohnes, VP at Salt XC. “Therefore, we took advantage of the heavily populated Toronto waterfront with all the condo dwellers and commuters every day.”

Despite the installation’s large OOH presence, Lohnes says the initiative was “very much” designed to be digitally-led, with Xbox’s KPI’s focusing primarily on the results of its digital extensions. “However, because of its size and location and the densely populated Toronto waterfront, it allows us to capture attention both in person and online,” she says.

Xbox Floats 2