Volvo Cars is one of the most recognisable and respected car brands in the world. In 2017, Volvo sold 572,000 cars and generated an operating profit of over $14 billion.
Just After Midnight had supported Volvo previously with its launch of the new XC60 model, and so were delighted when approached by Grey New York for a new project, the ‘S60 Longest Drive’ game. This is an immersive smartphone game which challenges users to participate in a virtual test drive, keeping their eyes locked on the car and road shown on the screen. What’s more, the game was to be made live during the 2019 NFL Super Bowl, which often reaches 100 million viewers worldwide.
Players were to register online, then play the game. This involved keeping their eyes on the road at all times during a test drive of the S60 Sedan model. The player with the longest drive time would win a two year subscription to the S60 Sedan.
Due to the huge number of viewers expected to tune in to the 2019 NFL Super Bowl and see the large media spend associated with the game, JAM’s main challenge was to design a solution using Amazon Web Services that would be able to hold up against a potential 200,000 concurrent users directed to the Volvo game during the Super Bowl. We would have to work in conjunction with the game developers to help them build and us to deploy, at scale.
Just After Midnight designed and built a solution focused on a combination of serverless and auto-scaling EC2 elements:
- AWS DB Aurora was used due to its ability to autoscale to huge capacity during peak traffic
- Within the application load balancer, an EC2 instance was used to spin up a duplicate copy of the page using an AMI image
- Cloudfront CDN was used to cache
- An S3 Bucket was used to improve the quality of the media content
JAM undertook load and performance testing for many different scenarios, making sure that in every situation the game ran smoothly against the amount of traffic it was receiving.
The game went live as soon as the Super Bowl started. On the night, a team of engineers at Just After Midnight were ready and monitored the game and the associated architecture throughout the duration of the NFL match, reacting immediately to any changes in traffic. The team remained in constant contact with the technical partners at Grey NY for the duration of the Super Bowl event.
This project was a testament to JAM’s close partnership with Grey NY. Given the tight turnaround required by JAM on this occasion, the success achieved was in part due to the close relationship and flexibility of the two parties. The two teams worked closely together at all hours of the day, and were in the end able to achieve fantastic results.
Just After Midnight were able to secure 100% uptime for the Volvo S60 Longest Drive game for the duration of the Super Bowl and with many thousands of game sessions. Despite high amounts of fluctuating traffic, the team safeguarded a seamless user experience for game players. By guaranteeing 100% uptime for Volvo, JAM protected the experience of over 40,000 players, hundreds of new leads as well as company reputation.
As part of the WPP network, Just After Midnight was recommended to Grey as a potential partner to leverage for an upcoming Super Bowl web activation the team was producing on behalf of Volvo Cars USA. Sam, Arif and team worked diligently on their side to architect a best-in-class AWS solution that would potentially limit any customer downtime given the visibility the campaign would receive. I would definitely recommend JAM for any managed cloud solution!
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