CREATIVE STRATEGY: MW3 wins on games ad battlefield
Backgammon. That's my game. I'm afraid that anything involving a console or a computer leaves me cold.
Action men: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
I'm far too ancient to be one of the "oya yubi sedai". (If your Japanese is a little rusty, the phrase translates as "thumb generation".)
All that said, I was intrigued when a friend on Facebook posted a link to this new TV commercial for 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3'.
This ad has a simple premise – two blokes play MW3 "for real".
One is the archetypical grizzled mentor, his companion is the rookie.
But the first of two surprises is the cast. Our veteran character is none other than square-jawed hunk Sam Worthington (‘Avatar’); while his noob sidekick is Jonah Hill (‘Superbad’), now looking a little slimmer in his fatigues.
Second surprise: it's funny. 'Call of Duty' has the budget and the wit to entertain even the likes of me.
But then I’m not the target market. What do they think? MW3 is going head-to-head with arch-rival shoot-'em-up 'Battlefield 3' in the war for top slot on the letters to Santa.
It’s a more straightforward approach. Action footage. And more action footage. And more...you get the idea.
Both games received hyperbolic reviews. But of course, gamers don’t need journos telling them what to buy – they've got the internet.
There, the opening critical salvos went along these lines for 'MW3': "Don't believe the marketing hype, this is the same product rebundled; let it die and show investors we're not interested in being sold the same product year after year; the cash cow needs to starve."
But, as other commentators pointed out, people like repetition and re-runs. 'MW3' will be better than 'MW2', but its developers would have been very foolish to re-invent it just to pacify a vocal minority.
Some gamers may be raging against the machine. But as with many other people's grumbles about capitalism, they may have a point, they haven’t yet got a solution.
One still has to doubt that the geek will inherit the earth.
Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones
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