Last Updated 13 Jan 2021

Call of Duty

Category Advertising, Games
Essay type Research
Words 624 (2 pages)
Views 312
Call of Duty is an extremely successful video game franchise created by Activision consisting of seven different games to date. In the fall of 2009 Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2, the prequel to this year’s Black Ops, set the record for five day video game sales with 550 million in revenue. The Call of Duty franchise has a very strong and loyal following but Activision decided to advertise heavily for their newest installment regardless. A billboard in Times Square was only the first step in this advertising thunderstorm.

Though the numbers are up for debate, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick called this campaign “The biggest investment ever made in the launch of a game title”. The commercial being critiqued received the most attention of all the Black Ops advertisements. The commercial was developed by the Advertising Agency TBWA, and was directed by up and coming director Rupert Sanders. The target audience for this advertisement is most likely males 12-34 years old, which is consistent with the largest sector of the video game market. The ad ran heavily during National Football league games in order to target this demographic.

The NFL dominates this demographic in terms of viewership. The ad aired during day games as well as night games. The commercial appealed to hardcore gamers as well as novices and was designed to excite the loyal followers of the franchise as well as stimulate the interests of new players. The commercial shows people from all ages and occupations, including a business woman, a young girl, a nurse, a chef, and even celebrities Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel, engaging in realistic war battles set to The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”.

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The central message of the commercial is that anyone can experience the rush of being a hero from the safety of their video game consoles, as driven home by the tagline “There is a soldier in all of us” that ends the commercial. The commercial also excites the viewer due to its realism and action while portraying a dramatized version of the gameplay. The presence of Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel, who are both real life fans of the game, conveys a message that you can buy this game and even compete against celebrities in multi player modes.

There is a message that in the Black Ops world, we are all soldiers hidden in a cloud of anonymity and are ranked simply by ability to play the game. This commercial was controversial but extremely effective. Call of Duty - Black Ops generated 360 million in revenue in the first day of release and 650 million over the first 5 days, making it the most successful video game launch ever.

Even The Rolling Stones felt the power of the Call of Duty franchise when according to Billboard. om, sales of The Rolling Stones “Let It Bleed” album (featuring “Gimme Shelter”) rose from approximately 2,000 copies sold per week prior to the commercial airing, to 11,000 copies after. In terms of recommendations, numerous people argued that the advertisement was in bad taste for making light of real wartime scenarios and also promoting violence. The experience of the commercial is of course subjective. In this case, controversy seemed to only increase awareness and ad sales.

The rush created by this commercial created a positive association with the game and led potential customers to feel that they can have a thrilling experience for sixty dollars in the form of a game with no actual consequences. My personal recommendation would be for Activision to be aware of audience sensitivities in order find balance between increasing awareness and not offending fans, or potential fans, of the game. Possibly issuing a warning at the end of the commercial that the action is dramatized could help slow criticism as well.

Call of Duty essay

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