VG User Engagement with Interactive Chess: Norway vs. USA
2019 Finalist

VG User Engagement with Interactive Chess: Norway vs. USA


Oslo, Norway

Category Best Idea to Encourage Print Readership or Engagement

Overview of this campaign

In 2013 VG did a magnificent job putting popularizing the “new sport” chess in the Norway. The norwegian wonderboy Magnus Carlsen played Viswanathan Anand in Anands home country India, and we made it our number one task to engage all norwegians to cheer Magnus on for the win, and the title world's best chess player.


The fall of 2018 Magnus again had the honour to compete in the World chess championship. The competitor this time around was the american chess prodigy, Fabiano Caruana. This time it was yet again an important task to raise awareness the championship and that Magnus were again playing for the title as world chess champion, but also an awareness around our LIVE-coverage on the event.


We  wanted to kickstart the championship and our coverage by engaging the public to something that were both innovative and cool enough to become a talking point and from there raise awareness about both the championship and our LIVE-coverage.

The solution became an interactive chess game between Norway and USA. We installed a screen at the central station in Oslo and Times Square in New York, where Norwegians and Americans could stand in line to take their chess move in the chess battle between the two countries. During the games the audiences could see their opponents through a LIVE stream in both Oslo and New York, and by that the event became more competitive than if they felt they played against a computer.


We promoted the event in different digital channels. We used ads in our own site, programmatic ads on other norwegian sites, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook. We also promoted the LIVE-event in New York by flyers and by communicating with different chess clubs.


The landing page for the interactive chess game were made available for Norwegians and Americans after the event,so they could login and continue to play each other throughout the chess championship, while Magnus and Fabiano were playing for the title as “world champion”.

Results for this campaign

By having this event we wanted to raise awareness about the world chess championship, our LIVE coverage of it by engaging our audience. We also wanted those who engaged or  were exposed to this event and the marketing campaign around it to increase their favorability of VG as a news destination and a destination for news on sports.

We achieved some magnificent result:


  • we engaged a huge amount of commuters at the Central station in Oslo and a lot of chess enthusiast in Times Square in New York.


  • We had 30 000 registered players on the landing page that were in their playing for more than 20 000 hours, an equivalent of fourteen day and nights.


  • USA won the interactive games by 144-134 throughout the period of the championship, but Magnus Carlsen did beat Fabiano which were a good consolation.


  • We achieved massive attention both from national and international news outlets


  • There was an 21% increase in liking for VG as a news site, which is quite high for this category.


  • We also saw an increase of 43 % who considered us as the best sports news-site in the norwegian market.


  • In addition to this we achieved an 84% increase in those who claimed that VG were their primary destination for news, which is our number one goal.


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