Cisco, 2009-2011 

Project Scope:

Digital Strategy
Concept Development
Content Strategy
Video Direction & Production
Branded Content
Game Design
User Experience Design
Web site Design & Development
Game Management

How do you get 20,000 competitive male Sales Engineers from all over the world to connect, participate, and collaborate in an online event? Turn the event into a competition!


For three consecutive years as a part of Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) we created a series of Alternate Reality Games (ARG). As a part of our game design we leveraged the event’s content and sessions to unleash clues. Coupled with the progressive storylines unfolding in real time we inspired a stunning amount of collaboration across the globe. The sales teams worked together to solve an ongoing string of puzzles and challenges spread out over the two week events.


Cisco, 2009  

For The Threshold, the first online event-based ARG in history, used a corporate espionage story to emotionally draw players in. We interwove Cisco’s own technologies throughout the story to help increase awareness and teach the value of these tools to the sales force. Teams competed to win a trip to the Super Bowl with Cisco’s executive management team.

A Bit to Much Success 

With over 78% participation and scores of people losing vast amounts of sleep to compete. The Threshold successfully engaged the audience deeply involving them in the event and its content.

Special thanks to the talented folks at No Mimes for such an amazing collaborative effort.

Full Threshold Case Study


 Cisco, 2010  

Following the success of The Threshold, we were specifically asked by the sales team to create a sequel ARG the following year.

After some consideration, we opted to create a new story rather than extending the original Threshold story line. Thanks to changes in the structure and focus of the event, we also leveraged social media and live audience participation for this new ARG. The most unique challenge with this second ARG was the client mandate to be less successful in engaging the audience: People were so passionately involved in The Threshold that it became a distraction for many! Thus, in The Hunt, we reduced the scope and scale, while clearly communicating to the audience when they could expect to find clues throughout the course of the event. This year no one was staying up all night incase new clues hit in the wee hours.

 Manageable Success  

This new approach was  appreciated by the many passionate ARG players, as it allowed them to participate and still do normal things… like, their jobs…

Read Wired Magazine’s
feature on The Hunt


Cisco, 2011  

In our third year of doing GSX, there was reduced emphasis on collaboration and greater emphasis on product education in the strategy for the year’s event. Thus, we created a fun story-driven Role Playing Game that immersed players in key Cisco product knowledge requiring learning to progress through the game.

 Game Trailer 

 Case Study Video 

The game narrative followed a Cisco sales team as they botched a sale, and then used a time machine (conveniently hidden in their elevator) to go back in time and learn the key product knowledge necessary to beat the competing team and close the deal. The game mechanics forced players to learn a vast amount of important information to compete in the game, and more importantly, helping them compete in their jobs. This 30-minute edutainment experience resulted in people playing through the key deep-learning components an average of five times. A phenomenal result, considering the intensity of learning required to progress through each level.

 Special Thanks 
Thanks to our amazing production partner LiveTribe you guys are the best. 

︎       ︎