ROKKAN Leverages Social Networking for Da Vinci Code Video Game Launch

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Web 2.0 Agency, ROKKAN, leveraged popular social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube to create community and cultural relevance around the launch of the Da Vince Code video game for 2K Games.

Leading independent interactive agency ROKKAN, in cooperation with 2K Games, launched a breakthrough campaign for The Da Vinci Code Video Game, which leveraged social networking to create community around a puzzle-solving expedition.

“While the concept of an online treasure hunt may not be revolutionary,” says Chung Ng, ROKKAN Co-founder and Managing Partner, “we wanted to leverage social networking to achieve cultural relevance for the Da Vinci Code brand with gamers.” To do this ROKKAN developed an integrated campaign that included social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube, as well as other online and retail partners.

From the Da Vinci Code Game Website,, users must solve puzzles of increasing difficulty to access site content. Ultimately, users will launch out on a meta-Web treasure hunt, where they will need to decipher clues hidden among contemporary icons of pop culture. The contest, which ended on May 31, required players to use their knowledge of the story as well as the completed interactive challenges presented by a fictitious 2K programmer on a rogue mission to spell out a secret message. The winner was rewarded with an Xbox® Game Console and a 2K Video Games package consisting of five games in addition to a copy of The Da Vinci Code for the Xbox®.

“Overall, we are trying to be unpretentious and pure,” says Charles Bae, ROKKAN Partner and Creative Director, “not trying to give away the best prize, just trying to create an experience that will resonate with true fans.” This sentiment is echoed by a player in one of the video game forums, “It’s not all about the destination – the journey is important as well. We are all trying to help each other out along a shared experience.”

Players use community sites and gaming blogs to discuss the game. They rest along a spectrum of help-seekers and help-givers – some simply want hints while others want the answers to the clues. Above all, each member has a strong desire to share their experiences with each other.

The Da Vinci Code Game site received an FWA Site of the Day Award, which reinforces the site’s resonance with the young, tech savvy audience, as the awards are the authority on leading-edge web design worldwide based on criteria including navigation, design, content, graphics and personality.

Ng adds, “Although this is literally fun and games, we’re very serious about tracking engagement metrics like time spent with the brand, pass along, and transactions to measure the success of the campaign.”


ROKKAN is a full service, independent interactive agency located in New York. Founded in 2000 and ranked as the Fastest Growing Interactive Agency of 2004 by Advertising Age, ROKKAN’s key clients include Time Warner, Deutsche Bank, Virgin America, ADP, NBA, and 2K Games. ROKKAN borrows its name from the Japanese word for intuition, or sixth sense. ROKKAN views intuition as the backbone of any creative culture, and inspired creativity is the only true key to ROI. All of which explains ROKKAN’s rogue agency mission to inspire creativity.

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Mark Nathanson
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