Call Of Duty: Ghosts Takes Video Game Marketing To A New Low (Or High -- I Can't Decide)

Video game marketing is heading in strange directions. Once upon a time we had trailers. Then we started getting teaser trailers. Then we started getting teaser trailers for trailers. Then we started getting countdown clocks for teaser trailers. Where will it end? Will it end here? With this insane piece of marketing for Call of Duty: Ghosts?

This isn't even a teaser trailer for a teaser trailer, which is a bit insidious — it's simply a group of Australian 'celebrities' watching a teaser trailer and... reacting. It's a series of people I've never heard of watching a trailer I haven't seen and sort of going... 'ooh'... 'ah' as though they're watching some kind of fireworks display. It's bizarre and I don't know what to make of it. The crazy thing here is that by posting this video I realise that I'm part of this process, part of the problem really, but I can't help myself. This whole video is just too weird, too surreal to not discuss.

Imagine a series of reaction shots from Futurama's Calculon stitched together into a two minute video. That's what we're watching here. It's a strange work of art. It's meta. It's genius. It's also a great load of old tosh.

But I'm watching it. And if you clicked on this link, you're watching it too. This is the world we live in. This is what we have become.

I await EA's teaser trailer for Australian celebrities watching a countdown for a teaser trailer of a teaser trailer for Battlefield 4 with gusto.

When will the madness end?

Apparently the video the guys are watching will be shown early this morning at Microsoft's Xbox reveal.


    Yeah, when will it end? They might as well just have camera on certain areas of the office at where the game is being developed so people can watch developers walk around doing random normal human stuff. No, I have not watched the video. Probably won't either.

    No way, I'm refusing to engage in stupid marketing. You can get me interested in your game by showing me what makes it interesting, not saying 'look other people are excited about this so you should be too'. I can think for myself thanks. They should not be rewarded for this.

      see, right there lies the problem. they can't show you what makes it interesting, because there is nothing interesting to show. it's cod. it's a generic shooter that fat, lazy parents buy for their foul mouthed underaged sons to keep them out of the way while they drink long neck VB and cask wine.
      it's a trashy game for trashy people.

    I'm the type of person that never does anything unless a celebrity has done it first. However, having watched the celebrities reactions to the trailer, I now feel like I don't want to watch it at all. As if nothing about my life will have changed if I don't watch the trailer or, indeed, if I never buy the game at all.
    I don't think the campaign speaks to me.

    Well as a piece of marketing it's already served it's purpose and it successful.
    I mean, you did repost it on one of Australia's largest video-game blogs, after all.

    Not to mention it panders insidiously to the audience that usually engages in COD the most. Giving meat-heads* imagery of sporting "hero's", what i can only assume is a hip-hop group... and Merrick Watts... cements the user base via their astonishment that "zomg I can't believe HE/THEY play COD too!!!" Suddenly you have a domino effect of other people chafing at the bit to see what they are seeing.

    It's horribly lame - but at the same time an absolute stroke of genius. Minimal expenditure for a targeted exposure.

    *I know not all people that play COD are meat heads, so don't go getting your Rio Extra-sensitive panties in a knot.

    Last edited 21/05/13 2:03 pm

      On the downside, I can't help but think this is slightly damaging to those personalities, because the most reaction any trailer's ever been able to get out of me is a raised eyebrow and a bit of a grin. These people lose cool points for daring to be impressed. So embarrassing for them...

    The only bit of gameplay I'll ever see from CoD 4.6 is from one of the upcoming presentations (E3 etc), even then I might just skip through (if watching later on) or just go surf the web while its playing in the background.

    - Yes you read that right CoD 4.6 as it's the same god damn game every year...

    This basically just lead me down a spiral of short Calculon videos on Youtube.


    I watched it. I work in marketing so I kind of have to.

    Honestly, it's not that bad. Yeah, they way you put it Mark makes it sound like a slippery slope to when we're watching a countdown to find out what the most popular flavour of ice cream is among the devs of Call of Duty: Game of Thrones edition, but in reality, they've done pretty well in my book.

    People come to this site to find out what people think about game-related stuff. Not only have they shown what a bunch of B- and C-list celebrities think about it, but by not showing us, they've created the need to find out more, a fairly standard drama play. 'One of the characters you love will die on next week's Young and the Desperate' etc.

    Of course, it's CoD, so I don't care :)

    Low, they definitely took it to a new LOWWWWWW.

    Last edited 21/05/13 2:06 pm

    I guess the endgame is a teaser for a video in which celebrities react to drinking the promotional mountain dew for the game?

    It feels so awkward. You can practically see how their thoughts are playing out: quick, I'm being paid for this, I need to think of something to say, crap, crap, crap, what can I say? Oh, um, "Cool. Yeah man, it's really great man. Sick graphics", gah, that was stupid. Wait, they liked it? Better keep this up, "Oh yeah. I like, really want to play this game". Easiest hundred bucks I ever made.

    I thought they said celebrities?

    I only recognised Merrick from his time with Rosso as a pair of bloody average comedians and now his time as a pretty good DJ in the arvo on my drive home from Uni and Karmichael Hunt because of the fact he must have had a shit of a time signing his name in school...


    I'm not even Australian and I know of most of the people who are in this video...

    Waiting for the Gruen Transfer treatment

      Read the article, but did not watch the video BTW ... so as not to perpetuate the hype

    It's like those 2 Girls 1 Cup reaction videos, but not funny.

    Looks like marketing is now just like art... Art is only art depending on who did it.

    Its still better than any of the promotion I've seen for Destiny

      Err... what? What does Call of Duty have to do with Destiny? Since when was it a competition between CoD and Destiny?

    next they'll be doing teaser trailers for the reaction trailer to the unreleased trailer. Then the behind the scenes for the teaser trailer for the reaction trailer. Then the reaction trailer to the behind the scenes trailer of the teaser trailer to the reaction trailer. When will this madness end!

    ps. obviously this is dumb as fk but lets face it, we're talking about it.

    If only, instead of releasing this, they released a countdown, then a week later the countdown is revealed to be a video of people REACTING to this.

    Then 2 weeks later, this one came out.

    So ... who wants to make a video of a reaction to this reaction video ... I want to further their cause and market Call of Duty and talk about it non stop so every joe knows the game will release on some date.

    I wanna see written descriptions of the radio drama based on the stage play based on the video of people reacting to the video of people reacting to the countdown to the announcement of the announcement of the teaser trailer.

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