Radeon – owned by micro-processor giant AMD – is part of a multi-billion dollar industry, which makes graphics cards. Graphics cards are built on ‘architectures’ (a sort of technological template) which are only refreshed every few years. Each time a new architecture is released it signals a big leap forward in the visual quality computers can display, as opposed to the incremental gains seen on other years.
Radeon was due to announce its new architecture, ‘VEGA’. This came at a time when the company was enjoying a dramatic resurgence in market share and reputation after a rocky few years. The revival came in summer 2016 when we created Radeon Rebellion, a campaign which championed the company’s distinct company values. The stage was set for Radeon to make a huge statement with VEGA and prove to consumers and shareholders that its recovery was stable and long term.
We were tasked with creating a brand for VEGA which built the momentum Radeon had gathered over the last year. As well as carrying the flag for Radeon’s renewed vigour, it needed to work across a variety of products aimed at very different markets.
Radeon’s engineers had finalised the development of its new graphics card architecture, named VEGA. The infrequent development of graphics architectures mean they’re incredibly important dates in the calendar, both for consumers and for companies producing them.
Due to the fact these architectures are designed to power a company’s products for the next few years, they become brands in their own right. Radeon produces graphics cards aimed at a broad range of very different audiences, from gamers (both serious and casual) and digital artists (both professional and hobbyist). The VEGA brand needs to be able to work with these disparate products – each with their own marketing campaigns and identities – without jarring or sending conflicting messages.
Developing an effective, flexible brand around VEGA was hugely important as its success would set the tone for Radeon’s next few years.
Strategy / Creativity
We were tasked with creating a global launch campaign to establish VEGA as a brand.
Part of our strategy was building VEGA anticipation before it was due for release. In the industry this is typically done by announcing technical specifications and key features.
We went a different route.
We treated VEGA how you might imagine a Hollywood film would be promoted, with a teaser trailer. We created a follow on film to the Radeon Rebellion called After the Uprising to officially introduce VEGA to the world. This high production value film portrayed VEGA as culmination of the efforts of the successful Radeon Rebellion.
The message was clear: this is what you achieved with our existing technology, now imagine what you can do with something even more powerful.
The film’s best trick was to hide several references to VEGA as secrets within it. We created a website URL registered in the Gabonese Republic with the domain named ‘ve[dot]ga’, which we graffitied on the wall in the background of a shot. Other secrets included posters which cryptically poked fun at rival products and companies and positioning the Lyra star constellation in the sky which is known for its brightest star, named Vega.
As fans online discussed the secrets they’d found, VEGA become a word people associated with excitement. A sense of mystery and anticipation built around the brand before any specifications were released to the public.
The look and feel of the VEGA branding is informed by the same principles for Radeon’s company logo, which is created out of the computer pixel – the tiny square building blocks that make up every image on a computer screen.
The VEGA ‘V’ monogram comes from same cube as the Radeon logo and firmly places it within the existing brand portfolio. The ‘V’ is flexible enough that, so long as the distinctive dimensions remain the same, different textures, colours, and effects can be used depending on the product it’s being used for.
This direction fit perfectly with the brief of establishing Radeon Pro as a desirable high-end graphics card and getting engagement from its target market.
The reaction from our target audience showed our creative thinking was on the mark.
Our teaser film quickly racked up over 1.2million views on Facebook and over 400k views on YouTube, with no media spend supporting it. It far outstripped Radeon’s 500,000 target.
The Vega site received 224,763 unique visitors to the site in the days following the launch. At its peak, we tracked 15,000 hits per minute.
One of Radeon’s most important goals was that its share price was maintained to build the confidence of the financial markets. Before Radeon’s summer 2016 Rebellion campaign its share price was at a low 2.14, which jumped a staggering 394% to 10.58.
On 3 January 2017, after the release of After the Uprising its share price had climbed to 11.43, a further 8% increase. As of November this year, the company’s share price has remained steady.
In Q1 2017, Radeon’s market share was up to 27.5%, a huge 8.7% jump from its depths in 2015.
The VEGA brand has been used in successful graphics cards designed for business use (Frontier), for gamers (RX) and for creative pursuits (Pro SSG). It shows its flexibility and how effectively it adapts to products designed for very different goals and target audiences.