Interview with Simon Magata - Senior Brand Manager Ubisoft Germany
As part of the my Cross Media course Mr. Carmine Siena @ conducted an interview with Simon Magata - Senior Brand Manager Ubisoft Germany.
Interview with Simon Magata
(Senior Brand Manager Ubisoft Germany)
Senior Brand Manager @
1. Dear Mister Magata, please shortly present yourself and state your precise position as well as your field of responsibility within Ubisoft.
My name is Simon Magata. I am working for Ubisoft Germany for over ten years as Brand Manager inthe marketing. Amongst others, I oversee the Assassin’s Creed series since its first publication in 2007. A Brand Manager’s tasks are, among other things, to strategically position and coordinate the brand, respectively the product of a company. The goal of Brand Management is to create a brand which has a high recognition value and sets itself apart from competing companies. Brand Managers establish market, demand and competition analyses. These serve them as a basis for the planning and realisation of marketing campaigns. Then again, they need the analyses for strategy development and the commercialisation as well as product advertisement.
2. Is there any kind of schedule for marketing purposes on several channels in case a new spin-off of the Assassin’s Creed franchise is teasered or officially announced?
Yes, there is always a schedule. But a product announcement does not always follow the same scheme. Often, such an important milestone happens on a game fair, for example the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, since everybody concentrates on this event. Sometimes, games are also announced previously or separately on a different point of time. As soon as the announcement has been conducted, accompanying marketing actions are taken, for example, by placing trailer advertisement on video platforms or websites as well as on social media networks or the like. The promotion on several channels results in a higher reach and visibility.
3. How important is it to Ubisoft to publish Assassin’s Creed-related content which is specifically designed for the particular channel?
Each channel, respectively each medium, has its own or specific requirements for the content. Furthermore, one must also keep an eye on the usability of the channels as well as the technical conditions of the users (smartphone, tablet, desktop). We want to reach both fans of the brand and new players with our campaigns and that is why we are focussing on the needs and media usage in terms of communication.
4. Do you strongly emphasise interactivity – thus user-engagement – with the franchise or the marketing campaign? If yes, why?
Each marketer wishes for interaction with the product and the campaign. Generally, the more user engagement takes place, the more resonance achieves the campaign. Thus, one can generate a higher reach and therefore, the advertising effect is more intensive. This is often an indicator for the extent of the desire and how much interest in a product or a brand basically exists. The feedback is also important to better design subsequent campaigns or to improve the content.
5. Do you have any precise numbers that underline the success of Assassin’s Creed marketing campaigns? For example, how did the number of social media profiles or, even more important, the sales change?
Primarily published in 2007, Assassin’s Creed has been sold over 100 million copies worldwide and the franchise is considered to be one of the best-selling series of all times. We have built a very strong community with more than ten million Facebook fans worldwide. Nowadays, there exist nine main games and more than a dozen spin-offs, miscellaneous books and graphic novels and, since the end of the previous year, a movie with all-star cast.
6. What has been the trigger to publish Assassin’s Creed also as a movie (series) or was that planned from the beginning?
Ubisoft has developed many worldwide-known gaming brands such as Assassin’s Creed, but also Just Dance, the Tom Clancy series, Rayman, Far Cry, Watch Dogs and Rabbids. We believe that these video game worlds are a strong base for great experiences and stories – for different media, many display formats and various audience groups.
The movie was an opportunity for us to create a new experience. One that is independent of the games and which should appeal to both fans and cinema visitors, too. Assassin’s Creed possesses one of the most comprehensive and fascinating gaming universes of the industry and positioned itself as a real entertainment licence over the course of the last years. With increasing interests in the world of Assassin’s Creed, we could enlarge the brand with graphic novels, mobile games, novels as well as the movie.
7. Do you also plan to still rely on, or even widen, transmedia marketing or transmedia storytelling in terms of Assassin’s Creed in the future?
Ubisoft founder and chief executive Yves Guillemot wants to offer unique and memorable gaming experiences with his creative teams for players all over the world. The universes which we brought into being across the years, provide the potential to persist even outside the medium of video games, to entertain players and expose Ubisoft to new target groups. The fans of the different series are waiting yearningly for stories of their heroes and we supply them, apart from the games, in form of movies, television series, books and various merchandise, even theme parks. We think in all directions.
8. How is your, or rather Ubisoft’s position towards the integration of innovative media (such as virtual reality) for marketing purposes?
Ubisoft has already some games for VR in the portfolio, such as Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, Star Trek Bridge Crew or Virtual Rabbids. Therefore, we are already familiar with this medium. Currently, there are no known, precise applications for marketing purposes (except for trailers), however, we generally welcome new technologies and trends. Should VR establish as a marketing tool, it would be certainly an interesting medium for our future campaigns.
9. How do these types of new media be established within Ubisoft and who is responsible for that?
To establish a new medium as a marketing tool, it has first to be appropriately spread amongst the target group. Furthermore, the topics which shall be placed there, must also be presented in a suitable manner and the effectiveness to be equally high. Naturally, the use of moving image content is always beneficial. Should it be classical advertisement, the brand manager is in charge of the establishment.
10. Concluding, what would you recommend a freshman of this industry in terms of hints regarding transmedia as well as the establishment and “maintenance” of a franchise?
In marketing, one should always have the perspective of the consumer. Gamers are an especially particular target group. “Maintaining” a franchise also includes dealing with the community as well as interaction and the direct dialogue. In this connection, events, activities, social media and gaming forums are important tools to establish a brand in the long-run. The better one knows and understands the target group, the more target-oriented he can reach and commit himself to them. Transmedia campaigns are helping to raise the popularity of a brand and make it even bigger, thus opening new channels of distribution and marketing possibilities.
Interview for Cross Media Production Prof. Michael Schwertel
Media Professor @CBSinfo in Germany, Media Producer, Filmmaker, Designer working with #DigitalMarketing, #Animation, #Transmedia, #VirtualReality and #AugmentedReality.