Electronic Arts Promo Electronic Arts: DUTY CALLS by Wieden + Kennedy Portland

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Electronic Arts: DUTY CALLS

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


Cannes Lions 2011
Promo & Activation Lions Best Online Advertising in a Promotional Campaign Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Use of Promo & Activation
Category: Best Online Advertising in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser/Client: ELECTRONIC ARTS
Product/Service: VIDEO GAME
Entrant Company: WIEDEN+KENNEDY Portland, USA
Sales Promotion/Advertising Agency: WIEDEN+KENNEDY Portland, USA

Executive Creative Director: Susan Hoffman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Executive Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Director: Eric Baldwin (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Director: Jason Bagley (Wieden+Kennedy)
Art Director/Copywriter: Craig Allen (Wieden+Kennedy)
Copywriter/Art Director: Eric Kallman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Managing Supervisor: Becca Milby (Wieden+Kennedy)
Senior Planner: Matt Kelley (Wieden+Kennedy)
Account Executive: Andrew Walenga (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)

Describe the brief from the client:
First-person-shooter video games were all beginning to look alike: overly serious, über dramatic and all trying to outdo each other in “realism.” Introducing Bulletstorm. With its original sci-fi story line, uncouth hero, campy dialogue and over-the-top gore and mayhem, Bulletstorm was a new kind of shooter. The objective of this promotion was to generate awareness and position Bulletstorm as a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale genre.
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
While monitoring gaming conversations online we found there was resounding agreement that the FPS genre was overrun with tired military clichés, self-serious heroes, hyperrealism and predictable plots. Rather than highlight these flaws with a dismissible “viral” video, we opted to create something that encouraged consumers to engage with Bulletstorm by experiencing exactly what it wasn’t. So we created Duty Calls, a fully playable, downloadable video game that lampooned every tired cliché the FPS genre was known for (setting Bulletstorm up as the alternative).
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
Duty Calls went gold two days after release with over 875,000 downloads. In nine days it went double platinum with two million downloads. YouTube exploded with videos of gamers documenting their Duty Calls gameplay experiences. These videos garnered over four million views, and one was the fourth most-watched video on YouTube the day the video’s launch. Consumer demand for Duty Calls was so great that we had to increase our hosting fees in order to meet it. Finally, its popularity prompted Electronic Arts to turn Duty Calls into a TV spot to launch Bulletstorm in mass media.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
Our target was gamers and our product was a video game, so it made sense to make an advertising game. To promote it we sent out a press release to key gaming sites and bought search terms against the video game Call of Duty, the top dog in the genre. We also had a team of community managers at the ready to help promote Duty Calls in social media, where gamers lived. But as it turned out, Duty Calls blew up on the Internet and gamers themselves did the vast majority of the sharing for us.