Microsoft Store

Reimagining the In-Store Launch Experience

How Microsoft and Synect brought a legend to life with custom content and an integrated marketing campaign for Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Image by Sergey Pesterev

Challenge

The best place to experience Microsoft's world-leading blend of products, technology, and services is at a Microsoft Store. Each store features an iconic custom video wall that Microsoft uses to attract shoppers, create ambiance, deliver an immersive experience, and promote its products and services. Synect has worked with Microsoft to support the evolution and growth of the video wall network.


As the Microsoft Store grew into an international chain, the Synect team created content for more than 80 retail locations with over 60 video wall configurations. Synect was there as the stores grew across the US and Canada and as Microsoft opened flagships in New York, Sidney, and most recently, London.


Halo is one of the most iconic video game franchises in history, and Microsoft came to Synect looking for a way to mark the release of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection in stores. Microsoft needed to drive user interaction with game launch activities across the web, mobile, and social media.

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Approach

Microsoft and Synect drew inspiration from the video game collection, action sequences, and characters. Synect designed custom visual communications content, dynamic countdowns, and integrated QR codes into the in-store experience to drive engagement across multiple platforms.


Microsoft, 343 Studios, and Synect collaborated closely to give Microsoft Store customers an immersive retail experience and big impact moments for the launch.  The scale of the Microsoft Store’s video wall network and the size of each video wall required the creation of custom assets, which Synect modeled and animated in 3D. 


A custom integrated toolset enabled the content development lifecycle, and all the beyond-ultra-high definition video production was handled by Synect.

Power in Numbers

Image by Sergey Pesterev

Solution

The store immersed visitors in the world of Halo through a custom-created ultra-high-definition video wall theme. The game's hero, Master Chief, and his adversaries battled across the wall in four scenes. Each scene was inspired by the bestselling game's 14 years of history, beginning with Master Chief's pose from the original box art. The franchise's visual legacy played on the store video walls, culminating in a collage of each scene. 


Synect created the video wall theme for the retail chain’s network of over 70 video walls, some up to 150 feet in length. Store customers could also play the game on the store's massive screens—and purchase it with a special launch package with memorabilia from the games.

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Results

The excitement was palpable at the Microsoft Store's midnight launch Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Cosplaying fans and video game celebrities attended the event, and the in-store experience was a virtual immersion in Halo gameplay. 


“The Halo launch event was incredible. The entire store lit up for Halo,” Peter Ruthenberg, Senior Art Director for the Microsoft Retail Stores, said. “There were hundreds of people in attendance. Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana, was in attendance. It was just a great experience for all the customers to come into the store, get a real good sense of what the game was and really get them excited about the Halo brand as a whole.”


"The launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection in the Microsoft Store was a huge success. The stores were filled with fans, and everybody was having an amazing time," Microsoft Store's Creative Director Florin Gale said. "They were celebrating the launch of this amazing game, and they were immersed into an experience unlike any before."

Raise Awareness

Promote the Collection

Project Goals

Engage Customers

Immerse Shoppers in the World of Halo

Drive Sales

Create Excitement at the Point of Sale

Project Gallery