How a 'Grand Theft Auto'-style Internet game helped launch Future's single at a fraction of the usual marketing costs
When "Move That Dope," the latest single from Epic Records rapper Future, was released in March, its drug-chase music video got big play on YouTube and Vevo. But Epic's real marketing coup was a retro-styled Internet video game that put players behind the wheel of a car, a la "Grand Theft Auto," and challenged them to move their own dope while evading the police.
In its first 10 days, the free "Move That Dope" game, created by a firm called The Uprising Creative, ignited on Twitter and in the blogosphere. The game racked up 38,000 unique views and, through a link where players download the single, helped fuel 11,000 sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan (a gain of 83 percent from the previous week). More importantly for Epic, which is trying to broaden Future's audience, "Move That Dope" earned positive mainstream media coverage, despite its subject matter.
"With hundreds of music videos getting blasted to fans every day, the question is: How do you differentiate yourself?" says Epic vp digital marketing David Bell, who commissioned the "Move That Dope" game.