Mafia III Launch Campaign

Mafia III Launch Campaign


2K Games


Promax 2017


We partnered with 2K Games to bring New Bordeaux’s culture and Mafia underbelly to life for veteran fans and new audiences.

Case Study Video

Brand Strategy: Expanding the Pool

Mafia III had to contend with multiple AAA titles released around its launch, so expanding the audience was a must. Our strategy hinged on cross-cultural overlap, so we targeted potential fans within music, hip-hop, and sneaker culture with great success — Mafia III became the fastest-selling game in 2K history.

Ice Cube &
DJ Shadow

Fresh Kicks

We teamed up with renowned sneaker artist Kickasso and Complex Magazine to celebrate the game’s release with a Mafia III-inspired Adidas NMD. Influential artists and personalities in the hip-hop community helped to launch the shoe as an exclusive giveaway.

Because it was important to remain authentic to Mafia III’s setting, we also invited fans to experience the amazing city that inspired New Bordeaux. We worked with local NOLA hip-hop artist Curren$y to arrange a driving tour of the city and its unique, vibrant culture.

Music Partnerships

We knew the soundtrack was destined to be more than just a gritty, rock & roll backdrop for the game — even Rolling Stone wrote that Mafia III was “scored like a formidable Sixties mixtape.” So we brought it to partners like Spotify, Pandora, and Genius, along with a new Ice Cube and DJ Shadow collaboration for Mafia III called “Nobody Wants to Die.”

Hyper-Targeted HTML5 Launch

Rather than simply cut up the same key art into the usual set of digital banners, we created three distinct phases that emphasized different parts of the campaign with very different looks, targeted to different audiences.

The first visual phase was was built around the iconic red “III,” announcing the Mafia series’ return with some serious swagger. In the second phase, we began positioning Mafia III as the gaming equivalent of a prestige crime saga like American Gangster or Heat – more film than game — one that promised an unmissable blend of action, drama, and Oscar-quality writing. The third phase, building to launch, emphasized the box art with complex animations, site takeovers, and break-the-frame banners, ramping up excitement in an explosive way.

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Blurring the lines of fiction and reality

To capture the attention of existing and new fans to the franchise, we positioned the game serving a heavy digital presence online as well as our many out of home activations spanning from LA, NY and Latin America. Thinking bigger, we had Square Enix and CNN collaborate with the leading researchers in bionics to hold the Human By Design conference. The conference showcased the future of bionics, paving the way of how technological and human integration will be used in the near future.

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Increase in Sales Over Previous Title


Game Sales As of 9/15


All About the Testing

The Witcher is undoubtedly a complex game. Without knowing which assets or creative would do the best job connecting with each target audience, Liquid conducted thorough creative experimentation and testing throughout the campaign. We ran three TV spots, over 30 video variations, tested over 200 arrangements of Facebook ads, and six different banner types. To optimize the creative for ultra specific audiences, we set up and track over 2,000 placements for the digital campaign. Through this optimization process our engagement was over 30% higher than initial projections.


Front and Center

As launch approached, we put the game front and center with as much video, asset support, and asset creation as possible. High profile game streams helped the Witcher trend on during launch week. A series of PewDiePie videos showcased the game’s excellence to mainstream gamers who had never played Witcher. A Twitter campaign promoting a Conan O’Brien “Clueless Gamer” segment had engagement rates north of 15%. Content integration with the top endemic gaming sites ensured that Witcher felt ubiquitous to core gamers consuming editorial that week.

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