MTS blog


Monday, July 11, 2011


Transformers 3 quickly conquered the box office this weekend but the battle against Decepticons isn’t nearly done in Russia. Through Red Quest, MTS’s award-winning interactive game, over 1.8 million young Russians are finding themselves in the middle of Michael Bay’s latest metal fest.


What's Red Quest? It's an alternative reality game in Russia developed by MTS to promote its youth oriented Red Energy tariff plan with unique unlimited options (unlimited calls, unlimited sms and mms, unlimited mobile internet). A scavenger hunt lies at its core, driven by clues and riddles.. In this year’s adventure, participants are tasked with battling the Decepticons, and a critical clue in this battle is contained in the Transformers 3 film. By serving up clues online, offline, through games and now a blockbuster movie, Red Quest may be the largest and most interactive marketing effort in the world.


Red Quest is designed to appeal to the critical youth demographic that’s inherently suspicious of traditional marketing. There are 16 million 14 to 25 year-olds in Russia, and MTS has long catered to this valuable customer segment. MTS launched Red Quest in 2010, and its first iteration attracted over 1,040,000 registered users online and offline in 10 cities throughout Russia. Now we’ve got nearly 1.8 million participants registered and the Red Quest app has been installed more than one million times on Vkontakte, our country’s most popular social network, making it #1 among all branded apps.


The plot of the first season was simple. The world is in danger. Fraught with natural and man-made disasters, there's a surplus of negative energy. Only the mysterious Source of Unlimited Energy can provide a solution. By joining up as a "Seeker," you complete tasks and gain points to learn the location of the Source of Unlimited Energy. There are two challenges a day and only your mobile phone can unlock the codes needed to get to the next level. In 2011, Seekers are faced with a new threat – Decepticons. On April 12, 2011, the day when Yuri Gagarin made the first human flight in space, Decepticons declared war on the human race. The war is being fought on five fronts:


  1. Urban quests in the streets of nine Russian cities with an objective to find Decepticons’ emissaries and seize their “metal hearts.”
  2. Website where new tasks are added every week Tuesday – Friday. The tasks have to be completed offline and the results (confirmation), i.e. photos and videos are submitted to the web site
  3. Red Quest Application in social networks VKontakte and Moy Mir, a social online game where the goal is to stop the online spread of Decepticons
  4. Geolocation app for iPhone and Android phones that enable Seekers to locate and destroy Decepticons
  5. A unique interactive TV show on the national TV channel NTV


All these activities are linked by a unified user account. Every participant can gain points for their activities in the project – be it completing online tasks or fighting Decepticons in the online social game. The points received for various actions can then be exchanged for prizes and gifts in a specially designed Red Store, a loyalty tool. And of course, anyone can play Red Quest and gain points but only MTS customers can use these points to receive presents.


Two winners of this year’s season will go to Cape Canaveral on a critical mission – they will witness the launch of a spacecraft that will send all of the defeated Decepticons sparks back to space. ..


Red Energy users spend 30% more time talking on the phone as other similar users, a key factor in instilling greater loyalty. These subscribers also consume almost 2,5x more data than other subscribers. All of which translates to higher revenues per user (almost +15%).


Other interesting stats:


  • - 4,250,000 unique visitors to the Red Quest web and mobile sites
  • - More than 1.8 million registered players
  • - Red Quest is the most popular branded app in social network Vkontakte with more than 1,1 mln installations
  • - 85% of the target audience was aware of Red Quest
  • - More than 63% associated Red Quest with MTS


Picture from the "teaser phase" where unbranded posters were put up in five cities.



Commercial for Red Quest Teaser]


An example of an offline game in one of the cities (Moscow):


TV Show teaser:

The web site of the project:

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