$310 million in day-one sales? Marketing. Much to no one's surprise, Microsoft is splurging on its biggest game campaign to date, according to Advertising Age. While Reach's marketing budget has not been disclosed, it's expected to easily top Halo 3's reported $6.5 million bill.
The ad campaign, which began in earnest with a big-budget plug ... for the multiplayer beta (way back in April), will continue to use live-action segments to attempt to forge an emotional connection with a broad audience across TV and the web. "We're trying to get people to connect back to their lives, not computer graphics or something overly sci-fi," Taylor Smith, director of global marketing communications for Xbox, told Ad Age. "Live action is a way to capture that." In particular, director Noam Murro (Smart People) has created three live-action short films that depict life on planet Reach before the Covenant invasion.
Meanwhile, potential buyers will be urged to "remember Reach" as they consume Pepsi products. A renewed partnership between Microsoft and the snack-time mogul will put Halo branding on some 300 million Mountain Dew bottles and 30 million Doritos bags beginning next month. Of course, to top past efforts, Microsoft will expand the Reach campaign beyond these somewhat pedestrian reminders: Cue massive KUKA KR 140 robotic arm!
The viral site RememberReach.com, which becomes fully operational at 3AM ET tomorrow, features a user-generated light sculpture of Reach's Noble Team, created by the robo-arm and some fancy camera equipment. Typically used to assemble cars, this KUKA bot has been outfitted with an LED and stationed in an undisclosed San Francisco warehouse. As detailed by GameLife, visitors will direct the machine to plot the 54,000 points of light that will form this Noble Team "monument." Bizarre.
Halo: Reach launches on September 14.