The Black Panther superhero franchise has always led conversation about representation in STEM, particularly for black women. Inclusivity and accessibility in technology is also a massive focus area for Microsoft. It was a no-brainer then that Marvel and Xbox partner to generate hype around movie sequel Wakanda Forever, to elevate these themes. The challenge we faced was creating a web-based campaign activity that was fun, drove excitement, and highlighted the need for diversity in STEM. This while managing tight deadlines and secrecy around the film’s plot.
We found our answer in Kimoyo beads, a hi-tech wearable piece of technology unique to Wakanda, and easily recognisable thanks to their multiple appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We leveraged the beads to create a unique memory game. This was hosted on an initially hidden website, designed to both unite fans and ask for their help. Brainpower, technology, and innovation were key to defending Wakanda, after all, and the brightest minds were needed.
A teaser post on Twitter acted as the first true test of intellect, hiding a message in the fictional language of Wakandan. Eagle-eyed fans that visited the URL (after first translating it) were met with the Kimoyo bead challenge. If they could prove their worthiness by correctly memorizing its sequence – itself containing a secret STEM-positive message – they would receive extra entries into the then unannounced console giveaway.
48 hours later, the website went public, revealed by another social post. The page was also updated to spotlight the prizes up for grabs: limited-edition Wakanda Forever consoles with matching controllers, plus physical Kimoyo bead memorabilia. In addition, the page now featured resources that allowed visitors to learn how to code a game and glean insights from developers in the industry.
This not only emphasised the film’s representation and STEM themes (while tying back to the Xbox brand), but also encouraged many to consider a career in the field.
Finally, while the campaign was designed for people to prove their intellect, it was not meant to exclude anybody from the wider Black Panther fanbase. To ensure that they were covered, when the website’s entry period ended (after a week), a final social post was shared. It offered another custom console prize, which fans had a chance to win by simply hitting the retweet button.
Vibranium may be Wakanda’s most precious resource, but the most powerful is undoubtedly its people. With thousands of Xbox fans coming together to show their support, there is no doubt that the nation would be well and truly protected should it ever be attacked.
- 60,361 page visits
- 14,934 total challenges accepted
- 3.4M+ social impressions
- 40K+ social true engagements (only reactions, comments, and shares)
- 23,512 social reactions
- 3,684 social comments
- 13,680 social shares
- 15,964 social referrals (by measure of Post Link Clicks)
- 97% positive social sentiment
STEM resources to help fans futureproof Wakanda’s safety
The Wakanda Forever microsite was a hub of useful resources, even beyond the competition period. It housed two coding activities, along with profiles of inspiring industry figures.
- 2,329 estimated coding course entries
Fans also had the opportunity to show their support for Wakanda with an exclusive campaign wallpaper.
- 1,887 wallpapers downloaded
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