Yes, Microsoft Made An Xbox Fridge
When Microsoft released the first images of its soon to be released Xbox Series X, some trolled on the internet and said it looked more like a refrigerator than a serious gaming console. The company’s response? They went all-in on the joke and made an actual fridge.
The Xbox Series X Fridge was unveiled to the world just before Halloween. It’s fully functioning at 400 pounds, over six feet tall, and a 1:1 scale replica of the soon to be released Xbox Series X console. On the outside, the familiar Xbox logo shines white to lead you to munchies. The space reserved for DVDs has been converted to a convenient hand-hold on the refrigerator door. And once opened, the cooled contents bask in the glow of Xbox green ambient lighting.
According to Microsoft, the appliance’s retail value is $2,999 — but you won’t be able to get your hands on one because only three were manufactured. The first was delivered to Snoop Dogg for his birthday in an Instagram unveiling. Another went to iJustine, a popular YouTuber. The last will go to one lucky gamer as part of a sweepstakes that is timed to sync with the global launch of both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S on November 10th.
A slick video for the sweepstakes shows the “unboxing” with a full-scale replica of the outer carton of an actual shipping Series X console (this one the size of a shipping palette) that contains the fridge. The Twitter video aptly ends with “Power Your Dreams, Power Your Memes” — since the idea was literally sprung from an internet meme.
Since the console announcement at E3 in 2019, fans had been left to speculate, deliberate, and troll for months as they waited impatiently for the next-generation gaming rig to arrive. Some compared the boxy exterior to a household appliance. And Microsoft, for their part, was in on the joke. In March, with tongue firmly in cheek, they tweeted a picture of both a Series X and a typical refrigerator and said “Fridge for scale”.
The fun didn’t end there. Back in June, one talented 3D artist uploaded a playful animated rendering on the gaming subreddit that “took apart” an Xbox Series X. Halfway through, the video revealed the Rick Roll — that the Xbox was really a doctored video of a mini-fridge.
When it hits, meme marketing can be successful and drive authentic viral adoption. According to YPulse, a marketing analytics firm specializing in Gen Z, and Millennials says that sharing is all in good fun: 74% of people share memes to make people smile or laugh. The firm also found that meme accounts attract more ad dollars than influencer marketing.
That’s because it’s more fun to share a funny image than an 800-word advertorial. It also feels more authentic, even when you’re the butt of the joke.
A team at The University of Manchester’s School of Mathematics in the UK looked at 26 different internet memes and trends to identify the impact of why some fads take off. Their research developed into evidence for a ‘complex contagion model,’ which could help marketers predict the effects and duration of viral communications to drive positive messaging.
Microsoft seems to have hit the right formula — with enough pluck and relevance to keep the conversation going with an authentic and fun social campaign. One week in, they’ve already amassed over 4.5 million views to the original Twitter post and over 7 million YouTube views.
If you weren’t picked as the lucky winner of the prize, don’t fret. It might have been too OP for you anyway. According to Microsoft’s official rules, the fridge “may not fit through a standard size door frame.”
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