Crowdsourcing through social gaming

Karthika Raveendran
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On July 22, 2015 it took Tania Sachdev, a renowned chess player, 42 strategic moves across three hours to overthrow the world in Red Bull’s #BattleForTheQueen, a real time Twitter Chess game.

For every move on her part, tweets were gathered from Tweeples, out of which the most popular one was selected by the brand and applied against Sachdev. Both players were given five minutes to make their next move.

#BattleForTheQueen executed by Eccentric Engine was a first that transformed an offline game into an online reality, creating room for participation across the world. Twitter, brought with it the added challenge of making the next move in only 140 characters. This Battle emphasized on logic, knowledge of the game and quick moves.

Experts like Sahaj Grover, Vishnu Prasanna, Abhijeet Gupta were part of the battle as well, giving additional edge to the challenge.


#BattleForTheQueen created 1,02,67,835 impressions on Twitter reaching out to 3,05792 users. At least 2000 tweets went out on the day of the battle, from across 31 countries. 82% accounted for female players (who is the more intelligent sex now)

A winning game? 

According to Devin Kewlani, Creative Director, FoxyMoron, the campaign is definitely interesting and will surely make chess more relevant by associating it with the brand.

"It’s a peculiar sport to match with RedBull as the brand usually associates itself with high intensity sports. I like the way they’ve portrayed Tania Sachdev in the campaign – Check. The campaign will most definitely catch eyeballs in marketing circles but I’m not so sure about it making noise on the streets," Kewlani expressed.

While according to Vikas Chawla, co-founder, Social Beat  from a brand perspective it was very refreshing to see RedBull take on a game like Chess (and a women grandmaster at that).

"Its was a refreshing idea to allow users to play chess against the world champion and technology enabled it to happen real time. While it was unfair that users would have been using the internet / advanced tools to choose the next move, but she was triumphant in the end. In terms of engagement & reach it seemed to have achieved its purpose and got Red Bull a relatively new audience to engage with," Chawla concluded.

Check - mate 

When the movie Chak De was out, apart from having a brilliant script and good actors, it brought the Hockey sport to the forefront. The effect may have been temporary and may not have seen conversions, nonetheless one cannot deny the positive impact the film had on the sport.

Red Bull has definitely enchashed in on the surprise element by its unconventional choice of sport. The choice looked even better when technology played catalyst in its impact. Playing a game of chess with the entire world in real time, via tweets doesn't happen everyday.  Addtionally, a grandmaster for an opponent defined the challenge in a true sense and brought in with it, all the abundant excitement.

However, the choice of the game and its high requirement on Twitter could have made it a less massy campaign.

"It's an interesting use of twitter and crowdsourcing gratification by a brand like Red Bull," shared Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO, WATConsult. "It definitely engages those interested in chess. But its mass appeal could be questioned. As it requires people to be live on twitter tweeting its participation would be limited in terms of both reach and impact. Though one must appreciate the innovative use of twitter and its creative application for the game of chess."

Nonetheless, an unconventional choice, the power of technology and Tania Sachdev – Red Bull is surely setting an example of a brand grandmaster on a wide social board.

Twitter Tania Sachdev grandmaster real-time Red Bull Chess game challenge countries players Sport #BattleForTheQueen battle moves tecnology