Award Category
Best New Product Launch/Relaunch

Carat Australia


Collaborating Partners
McCann, Soap, Ogilvy PR


Forza Horizon 3 is the first major video game title set in Australia, but it was launching during a fiercely competitive period. Knowing Joy Riders took word-of-mouth from trusted peers and industry influencers, the aim was to convince Aussies to buy it and to meet the sales target of 100,000.


Carat came up with the Forza Dream Machines Drag race – a real life Forza Horizon 3 drag race between two custom built 'dream machines'. To bring the ‘leave your limits’ proposition to life, control was handed over to Forza fans for the ultimate custom car build. Just like the game itself, every element of the car build was customisable, from the rims to the paint job, with fans voting weekly on the build via social media. The outcome was one very Aussie V8 and one Japanese import, with the big reveal taking place at the Xbox Fan Fest.

On The Footy Show at half-time at the NRL Grand Final, the Dream Machines were pitted against each other in an on-air drag race, and livestreamed on Facebook and Twitch for Forza’s debut. To show off the incredible landscape visuals within the game, sweeping shots of iconic Australian destinations were featured on a network of digital OOH panels around the country, with the Forza cars cutting through them at the very last moment. And motoring journalists were invited to compare the game to the real thing. Fiction and reality melded when digital versions of the Dream Machines that were playable within the game itself were able to be downloaded by fans.


Sales results smashed all forecast targets with the full year sales target of 100,000 hit by week two, despite the game selling at full price with no related sales promotions. Retail pre-sales exceeded forecasts by almost 20% and the retail sell-in at launch was more than 180% higher. The race was shared globally, reaching over 900,000 fans organically and 5.2 million overall. In social, there were over 680,000 views, 24,000 reactions, 1641 shares and 4382 comments.

Judges Comments

The campaign for this joyful product displayed a strong, differentiated idea with even stronger results. Clear non-standard media initiatives were used, crossing multiple specialism areas.