Case Studies

Microsoft & Lowkey Discord

Microsoft buffs affiliate program with Lowkey Discord


Above Revenue Goal




Above Traffic Goal


In Australia, gaming consoles became scarce in 2021 due to logistical challenges. Many even ended up on third-party marketplaces for more than the retail price. When Microsoft asked Rakuten Advertising to help improve the shopping experience and drive sales for the new XBOX console, the team struck up a partnership with Lowkey Discord. 

Lowkey Discord is a community of 2,600 avid gamers and sneakerheads across Australia. Based on a social-audio platform Discord, the group leader uses innovative techniques to find highly sought-after consoles, sneakers and other in-demand items for his loyal community. Each group member pays an annual fee which allows them to be notified when hard-to-find products from the official retailer’s online store becomes available. Then, they can make a purchase via an affiliate link. 

The Challenge

Microsoft faced stock shortage issues and many XBOX consoles were sold on third-party marketplaces for nearly double the retail price. This became a less-than-ideal shopping experience for Microsoft’s loyal customers, which prompted Rakuten to partner Microsoft with Lowkey.

Rakuten was tasked with helping Microsoft improve its XBOX purchase experience and launching Lowkey as the first-of-its-kind publisher model in Australia. The team was to direct 10,000 customers to the XBOX product page and drive sales through the Lowkey.

Rakuten Advertising is a fantastic affiliate network with an even more fantastic team. This creative partnership truly showcases our industry’s drive for growth, new strategies and innovation. With the team’s expertise and excellent service in new publisher recruitment and engagement, they have delivered a successful campaign that goes beyond orders and sales. They put customers, including ours, at the heart of the strategy.

Sammi Tao
Global Advertising & Digital Marketing Lead at Microsoft

The Solution & Results

The campaign succeeded through the following strategies:

Distributing Through Discord

Rakuten recommended Discord as a marketing channel as it is typically associated with avid gamers—the perfect audience for Microsoft’s XBOX. Much like Reddit, Discord also has a discussion forum or “channel” which keeps its communities engaged long after they have put down the controller.

Leveraging FOMO

Lowkey leveraged the fact that humans are inclined to build value on products that are scarce. When gaming consoles became hard to find in Australia, more customers actively sought out these devices, which makes them the perfect audience the XBOX.

Keeping It Simple

To create a better shopping experience for customers, Rakuten leveraged Lowkey’s technology and simple affiliate links to notify group members when the XBOX is back in stock on the official Microsoft store.

Thinking Outside the XBOX

The Rakuten Advertising team leveraged their expertise and convinced Microsoft to give Lowkey—a new and slightly controversial publisher—a chance to prove its performance and help the brand succeed.

Rakuten Advertising made it possible for us to bootstrap a never-before-seen solution to get these consoles into the hands of Microsoft’s eager customers. We’re excited to partner with more global brands like Microsoft in the future, and help them reach the exact target audience they’re looking for.

Angus Timoney
Leader Developer at Lowkey Discord

Why Rakuten Advertising?

Putting Customer Experience First

At Rakuten Advertising, we understand that driving revenue comes hand-in-hand with great customer experience. Whether it’s multi-faceted strategies or simple affiliate links, we can create a seamless purchase experience by connecting the right customer with the right product.

Outthinking the Competition

The Rakuten Advertising team always looks for new technology and innovation to develop simple, effective solutions to meet your goals. We are experts in pinpointing potential publishers and finding ways to reach your audiences and drive revenue. Our team will encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, make data-led decisions and try new strategies.

Easy Execution

Rakuten Advertising made it easy for Microsoft to partner with Lowkey Discord and many other publishers. Microsoft simply produced an affiliate link to launch the partnership, making the process swift and simple.

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