business lessons from E3 ads

Let’s Go, Gamers: Marketing Lessons from E3 2019

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, has come and gone for 2019, leaving new games and gaming technology in its wake. That’s not the full legacy of this internationally-recognized trade show, though. No matter your industry, you can learn from E3’s most successful presentations and ads how to make your own advertising campaigns a little more lucrative.

Who shook up E3 this year, and what can your marketing team learn from the video game industry?


The Stunning Reach of Influencers

Influencer marketing has been on the rise for years now, so the concept shouldn’t be completely foreign. 80 percent of marketers agree that it’s becoming one of the most effective ways to reach audiences. At E3, we saw a fair share of influencers making the rounds through presentations.

It was Xbox, though, that caught audience eyes with its use of influencer marketing. In partnership with CD Projekt Red, Xbox brought celebrity and newly revived influencer Keanu Reeves to its Sunday afternoon press conference to debut their newest game, Cyberpunk 2077.


Best part of #XboxE3 for me— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 9, 2019


The Impact of Influencer Marketing

This move shot the game’s name through social media and made Xbox’s E3 talk the second-most discussed on social media. The game Reeves spoke about has also seen significant pre-sale success because of his involvement.


Reeves is a mega-influencer of a sort. The actor reignited his film career with the highly-successful John Wick series, and Xbox utilized his social currency to its advantage. Reeves surprised E3 crowds with his cameo appearance to promote Xbox’s upcoming game. He’ll also play a key character in the open world RPG.

You might not have the budget to reach out to someone like Reeves—and that’s okay. Influencer marketing can still work for you. Establish an influencer network, and you might be surprised at the positive social media response.


Humor in Marketing

E3 also revealed how advertising framework (and the ways with which you play with that framework) can impact product sales. Nintendo followed Xbox’s influencer move with some comical advertising in order to get people talking about—well, something besides Keanu.

One of Nintendo’s most famous characters, Bowser, has been pushing the company’s sales forward of late. How? In 2015, Nintendo accidentally (perhaps intentionally) hired Doug Bowser on as the new American sales executive. At the time, fans of Nintendo went wild for the correlation between the businessman and King Koopa.

At E3 2019, Nintendo’s announcements played on the hiring decision to advertise the newest upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch.


Using pre-existing fan enthusiasm and humorous marketing, Nintendo was able to nab the most significant percentage of social media conversation at E3.


Humor and You

Regardless of the size of your business, you can always use humor to connect with audiences. While millennial audiences are more inclined toward humor than baby boomers are , companies such as Allstate, with its “Mayhem” commercials, have been doing the same thing for years.


When you frame your product and company in a relatable way, you’re more likely to generate social conversation. That social power translates into sales, as the pre-releases Nintendo advertised at 2019’s E3 have already seen.

Xbox and Nintendo are just two major companies that got consumers talking at E3. How can your business learn from their advertising tactics?



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