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Smart Promo: ‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’ Pushes Marketing to Physical Limits at Comic-Con

Fanboys don’t have the reputation for being the most athletic bunch, but Ubisoft is about to test their skills at Comic-Con with an elaborate parkour obstacle course set up in San Diego this week.

The massive course is meant to bring to life the French Revolution setting of “Assassin’s Creed: Unity,” the latest installment of Ubisoft’s popular video game franchise.

The games are known for having players scale buildings, leap over walls, run across rooftops and make dramatic leaps off buildings, and so will the course, that includes a 25-foot “Leap of Faith” fall, inspired by the series’ iconic move.

Set up on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade across the street from the San Diego Convention, the course is open to the public July 24-27, with freerunner Michael “Frosti” Zernow serving as “chief parkour officer” and helping participants navigate their way through the obstacles. Ubisoft also paired up with filmmaker Devin Graham for a live action parkour-filled video that replicates stunts from the games through the streets of Paris (watch below).

SEE ALSO: Smart Promo: Why Ubisoft’s ‘Watch Dogs’ Campaign is the Right Way to Launch a New Game Franchise

The highly visible promotion is sure to stand out for Ubisoft not only for the sheer size of the course — and vicinity to the central hub of activity for Comic-Con — but also its clever but simplistic way in entertaining fans of the franchise while educating newcomers about the series.

After selling more than 76 million units since the first game debuted in 2007, “Assassin’s Creed” is an established franchise — that also has a film in the works at 20th Century Fox and New Regency with Michael Fassbender attached to star.

But with more than 130,000 people attending Comic-Con this week, and thousands more milling about San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter through Sunday, Ubisoft’s strategy is to produce a stunt that is sure to encourage visitors to pull out their smartphones and post photos on social media platforms with a hashtag or two.

Comic-Con has always been about hype. But the smartest marketers heading to the fanfest have realized that the biggest stunts — whether it’s through footage, the announcement of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” or photo ops — are starting to pay off in droves. And that will be even more true this year in the year of the selfie.

“Assassin’s Creed: Unity” makes the leap onto retailers’ shelves Oct. 28.

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