The $125 Million Dollar Teabag


The final slate of Call of Duty commercials explicitly embodies everything about the game we all know and love.  That’s not surprising, right?  Isn’t that what advertising does?

But never has an ad campaign contained such a rich subtext that expertly speaks to every facet of a title’s intangibles.  Let’s start with the obvious: the online community is possibly the basest, most embarrassing subsection of the human population known to exist.

While this ‘technique’ has been theoretically possible since the days of Quake, no other band of cowardice infected fools in the history of gaming would conceptualize the act of toggling crouch as involving genitals.  Activision is acknowledging that their player base is puerile and easily amused.

the above mentioned ads are Activision’s final chance to make an impression on non-gamers for their Call of Duty du jour.

Activision is also peddling the idea that Call of Duty is so widespread, so fantastically popular that individuals from all walks of life are into their title.  Note the pains gone through to include different ethnicities, demographics, and professions:

I remember the last time someone came to me with a game that everyone was playing.  I remember how that went:

Anyways, again the implication is that the impoverished standards of humanity that accompanies a Call of Duty player defies all classes and creeds.  Play enough Call of Duty and you too will succumb to blubbering displays of idiocy in public.

And finally, not a single ad features any of the game’s visuals.  No gameplay footage, no cut scenes, no dog mo cap sessions, nothing:

Wow – there’s a lot you could pull from this kind of self-aggrandizing.  But what’s important here is that Activision is trying to tell us that it really doesn’t matter what this Call of Duty looks like.  Why?  Because it’s predestined to be the same art direction every year.  This point is embellished by the colorful ferris wheel of warriors seen before stopping on the Call of Duty bunch, who could have been pulled from any title.

Further notice that no brand imaging shows up till the very end – you just know without seeing anything substantive what game has this kind of gaul.  Just like you know what this game will look like in advance.

Sure, there are other trailers that are more run of the mill  – gotta love the Eminem touch.  But the above mentioned ads – airing during in the obscenely expensive slots that accompany primetime NFL games – are Activision’s final chance to make an impression on non-gamers for their Call of Duty du jour.  They certainly have seized the opportunity.

Author: Wu

1 Comment

  1. good but read this:

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