Creating a strategic integrated campaign to launch Planet Zoo

Services: Strategy & Planning, Creative, Programmatic, Paid search

Markets: US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands

The challenge

Following the success of Frontier’s award-winning Jurassic World Evolution release, Croud was tasked with delivering an integrated campaign to support the release of their new game, Planet Zoo, which would be the spiritual successor of their successful Planet Coaster game. 

The key challenge was to create hype and reach, in order to make the new title launch a success, whilst navigating an extremely crowded and competitive environment that was buzzing with hype for other high-profile releases.

The additional challenge with Planet Zoo was that paid media budget was significantly reduced compared with previous launches, so Croud needed to use the budget as efficiently as possible, whilst aligning activity across all channels and ensuring a consistent message and tone of voice. 

The Croud difference

In order to drive awareness, reach and purchase intent throughout the announcement phase, as well as continue momentum and engagement throughout the release, Croud implemented a strategic campaign which involved several stages:

  • Croud took a smart approach to audience segmentation, using a host of data signals including in-market, affinity and intent audience data, to build behavioural subsets and strategically target those most likely to engage with the launch.
  • Croud’s programmatic team utilised key formats – including Display, Video and YouTube – from announcement to launch, with YouTube at the heart of the campaign due to its reach and targeting capabilities.
  • Eye-catching, disruptive creative assets were used throughout the campaign. Using video ad variants, we highlighted key art segments from the game and leveraged DV360’s newly-released ‘Storytelling’ format to form the narrative.
  • Utilising PPC top-performing keywords, Croud’s programmatic team enabled these in their keyword and Google’s custom intent audiences to create highly targeted activity. 

The results

Despite reduced paid media budgets, the Planet Zoo launch was a resounding success, with the following results:

  • By the end of the pre-order phase, Croud had driven an amazing 2.5m new users and 17.9m video views.
  • Paid media activity saw a cost-per-action that was 75% lower than for the previous game launch. 
  • On YouTube, video ads saw a view-through rate of 55% – 83% higher than the platform’s average.
  • Planet Zoo achieved a day-one PC launch record for Frontier, as well as being shortlisted for Best British Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards

new users


lower CPA in paid media activity than for the previous game launch

video views

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