I’m not that well-versed in the history of marketing, even though I have a history degree, so I’m not sure when the word “activation” started to mean “big ol’ publicity stunt.” My inbox is absolutely lousy with emails using that word in that context this week, because San Diego Comic-Con is happening right now, and that pop culture pilgrimage is like the promised land for activations. Everything’s getting activated every which way in San Diego this week, and if you aren’t careful while you’re out there, you might get activated too.
Just a few minutes ago I got an email about one such activation. PUBG Corp. and Xbox went into business with West Coast Customs (of Pimp My Ride fame) to build a fancy Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds bus that’ll be traveling throughout America during the Xbox One “Summer of PUBG.” The bus, which looks a lot like the VW microbus-style one from the game, will be unveiled to the public at that Comic-Con activation tomorrow, July 19, and will make “surprise stops” on its slow, rambling journey to PAX West in Seattle over Labor Day weekend.
What can you expect from this special bus themed to one of your favorite battle royale games? Well, the side view mirrors are frying pans. And the grill is Xbox green, with the system’s logo front and center. And in the back of the bus are four fancy Samsung HD TVs and four Xbox One X consoles, for your own little LAN party on wheels. (There doesn’t seem to be any seat belts in the back, though, so maybe park it before you play it.)
You’ll be able to check the PUBG bus out at San Diego Comic-Con this week, PAX West over Labor Day, and at various pop-up events throughout America in between. Keep an eye on the Xbox Wire blog for more information.
This bus isn’t going into storage at the end of the summer, though, or into the garage of PUBG creator Brendan Greene. It’ll be awarded to one single grand prize winner in a sweepstakes that runs from now to the end of the summer. You can officially enter the contest, and learn more about it, here. More than just the bus is on the line, though. One first place winner will receive a 55” Samsung QLED TV, an official PUBG Xbox One X bundle, and an Xbox Elite wireless controller. Ten second place winners will receive a copy of the game and that controller. So although only one can win, 12 people total will walk away from this contest with something.
If you’re in San Diego, you can check out the bus in person tomorrow, once it gets all activated at that activation. In the meantime you can check out the video that Microsoft released about the bus below, as well as a few photos.