Picture this: it's 2007, it's been a solid three years since Halo 2 dropped and the excitement around Halo 3's launch is palpable. You've seen multiple trailers at this stage since the game's reveal at E3 2006, and you don't think the hype can grow any further. Then, Xbox launches its Halo 3 'Believe' marketing campaign, with a series of live action trailers. 15 years on, Halo 3: Believe is still revered as one of the best marketing campaigns in gaming history.
Xbox, along with Halo developer at the time, Bungie, went down the live action route for their final big Halo 3 marketing push. 'Believe', as the campaign was labelled, was a multifaceted effort that included multiple trailers, an interactive website, a huge Diorama featuring dozens of handcrafted human and Covenant figures, and more. Most of you will probably remember its most famous pillar; the 'Believe' TV trailer.
As you can see, the trailer was made entirely using the aforementioned diorama & its figures - the team opted to avoid any sort of in-game footage with this campaign. The hand crafted sets were even supplemented by fictional war veterans who talked about the Human/Covenant war as if it was a real event. Back then, it felt like a revolutionary approach to advertising for such a huge launch, and it was an approach that definitely stuck its landing.
A selection of other Halo 3 trailers, including some more that featured as part of the Believe campaign, have since been uploaded to Bungie's YouTube channel, and going back through them is a trip. Halo 3 really did have one of the most memorable pre-launch campaigns in Xbox's history, and the live action approach made the whole thing feel bigger than just a game launch, especially back in 2007.
The anniversary of Halo 3's Believe advertising campaign means that in just two weeks, the game itself will be 15 years of age. A lot has happened since then in the world of Halo - most notably a developer change at the end of the Xbox 360 era. Even so, we often look back at the Bungie era of Halo with great fondness, not only for the ridiculously good lineup of games the studio produced, but also the larger-than-life advertising campaigns, community events, and general fanfare that surrounded the series at the time. It all added up to make us truly believe in Xbox's biggest franchise.
Do you remember 'Believe'? Were they the good times for Halo? Let us know what memories this sparks down in the comments!