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PICK & SHOVEL COMMUNITY

Media Design School leads the way in New Zealand for digital and creative technology qualifications. So, when it launched the country’s first game art and game programming degrees, it needed an innovative way to connect with the people that were most likely to study them. Gamers.

KNOW THY AUDIENCE

Having a number of avid gamers on our team, we knew that MDS couldn’t just ‘sell’ the degrees to this audience. It needed to create something they could also feel part of, allowing them to express their creativity and collaborate with each other.

INNOVATE, IT WORKS!

In a world first, for a tertiary institution, our idea was to create a global community of gamers, leveraging the incredible success of the creative sandbox game Minecraft. We called it Pick & Shovel.

FIND YOUR PEOPLE

FIND YOUR PEOPLE

Communities don’t just happen; gamers needed to know that we existed. We reached out to them through a number of ways, including targeted Facebook advertising that was relatively easy as there are nearly 10 million Minecraft fans on Facebook.

A CREATIVE PLATFORM

Gamers love to win, so we provided them with opportunities to do just that. Pick & Shovel’s narrative driven creative competitions featured the robots Craig and Beano, mindless zombies, and – of course – epic prizes. These led to some of the most imaginative and unique Minecraft constructions the world has ever seen.

SELL, TASTEFULLY

SELL, TASTEFULLY

Pick & Shovel is a gaming community but it also needed to promote the gaming degrees and deliver prospective students back to the main MDS website. As a result of these dual purposes, the content marketing strategy for the blog balances posts related to MDS with insightful and interesting posts on the fast-paced world of gaming.

BOOTS AND ALL

BOOTS AND ALL

The blog wasn’t going to be enough though. Every true gamer knows that no gaming community is complete without a server to play on and forum to flame. The server takes engagement to a whole new level. MDS’ gaming faculty is able to interact with prospective students directly.

BOLDLY GOING WHERE NO…

Pick & Shovel was a bold strategic step, one that has proven to be a continual source of creative genius, community engagement, and referrer of high-quality prospective students.

Work