DUTY CALLS by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for Electronic Arts

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DUTY CALLS

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Direct marketing
Market United States
Agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Executive Creative Director Susan Hoffman, Matt O'rourke, Mark Fitzloff
Creative Director Jason Bagley, Eric Baldwin
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Direct Response Digital: Other Digital Platforms
Advertiser: ELECTRONIC ARTS
Product/Service: VIDEOGAME
Agency: WIEDEN+KENNEDY
Date of First Appearance: Feb 2 2011
Entrant Company: WIEDEN+KENNEDY, Portland, USA
Entry URL: http://www.thedutycalls.com/
Executive Creative Director: Susan Hoffman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Executive Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Director: Jason Bagley (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Director: Eric Baldwin (Wieden+Kennedy)
Art Director / Copywriter: Craig Allen (Wieden+Kennedy)
Copywriter / Art Director: Eric Kallman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Managing Supervisor: Becca Milby (Wieden+Kennedy)
Account Executive: Andrew Walenga (Wieden+Kennedy)
Senior Planner: Matt Kelley (Wieden+Kennedy)
Senior Interactive Producer: Carl Whitehouse (Wieden+Kennedy)
Senior Interactive Producer: Ryan Bolls (Wieden+Kennedy)
Interactive Studio Artist: Peter Yue (Wieden+Kennedy)
Game Art Lead: Norm Badillo (Other Ocean Interactive)
Game Producer: Sara Guinness (Other Ocean Interactive)
Game Audio Lead: Bob Baffy (Other Ocean Interactive)
Account Manager: Shannon Clune (Emerge Interactive)
Technology Director: Roy Martin (Emerge Interactive)
Front End Developer: Alden Brown (Emerge Interactive)
Systems Engineer: Justin Barry (Emerge Interactive)
Media placement: Search - Google - 25 January 2011
Media placement: Search - YouTube - 25 January 2011
Media placement: Social - Facebook - 2 February 2011

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
The objective of this promotion was to generate awareness and position the video game Bulletstorm as a breath of fresh air in the increasingly predictable, über-dramatic and boring first-person-shooter video game genre. Discussions about how predictable the genre was becoming were starting to gain traction among core gamers online. We wanted to take these conversations to a bigger stage, laying the foundation to set Bulletstorm apart.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
To lampoon the tired military clichés, self-serious heroes, hyperrealism and predictable plots of the genre (and set up Bulletstorm as the alternative), we created a first-of-its-kind, fully playable, downloadable video game called Duty Calls. The download itself was massive, almost one gigabyte, so we expected 500,000 downloads at the most. However, we felt confident that gamers would document their gaming experiences, generating a lot of conversations and awareness online.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
We advertised on banners and Facebook to our target of core gamers, and as our product was a video game, it made sense to make an advertising game. Though advergames aren’t new, the scope and scale of ours was unprecedented. Rather than a simple arcade game, we created an entire first-person-shooter level that was highly polished, using one of the best game engines available. It had to be good in order to engage a core shooter audience. The first ¾ of Duty Calls was spent lampooning the competition. The remainder was spent showcasing what made Bulletstorm the over-the-top, fun-as-hell alternative.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
Two days after launch, more than 875,000 gamers responded to the campaign by downloading Duty Calls, and just seven days later that number climbed to two million, four times our original estimate. So great was the response that additional hosting fees were required to meet demand. Videos of gamers documenting their Duty Calls gaming experiences garnered over four million views collectively, and there were more than 150 articles published generating further conversations and comments about Bulletstorm. Duty Calls cost $0.17 per person, but when accounting for the broader estimated total audience reached, that cost shrank to $0.01.