Fallout 4 campaign: Strangest case of virality in 2015?

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Video game studio Bethesda ignites the Web with an announcement of an announcement

There's something to be said of the marketing team that can capture the general Web's attention with an announcement of an announcement. Strange as it sounds, this was the case yesterday when popular video game studio Bethesda teased that it would announce its next major release later today.

Immediately following this tweet, #Fallout4 soared to the top of international hashtag trending lists on Twitter, despite the fact that a fourth Fallout game hasn't been officially confirmed by Bethesda in the seven years following the release of Fallout 3; though the creative on Bethesda's home page strongly indicates Fallout 4 is indeed the subject of this fervor.

Though impressive, instantaneous virality isn't what makes this mysterious campaign remarkable. Entertainment products such as games and movies are prone to ignite digital discourse by virtue of medium alone.What's interesting is that consumers have no tangible evidence that Fallout 4 will be announced today, and even if (when) it is, this is only an announcement. Optimistically, the game probably won't hit store shelves until the holiday season. And yet, #Fallout4 tweets continue to rain in by the seconds.

Through some arcane convergence of killer marketing tactics and strategy, Bethesda managed to inform and excite not only its loyal customers and fans, but the entire Internet. There are profound marketing lessons here; lessons that studious marketers will likely try to re-create — at least on some level.


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