Activision's 'Vet and the Noob' for 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' Wins Grand Effie

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With the star firepower of actors Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill, it’s not surprising Activision’s “Vet and the Noob” campaign, out of 72andSunny for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 got a lot of people talking. But not only did they talk, they also flocked to the game, leading the campaign to win the North American Grand Effie Winner at the 45th annual Effie Awards  gala tonight in New York.

Activision and 72andSunny, along with OMD SapientNitro and Edelman saw the title topple not just videogame, but entertainment industry records. In 2011 it earned $1 billion in sales within 16 days of launch, besting the record of James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which earned that amount in 17 days.

Mark Baynes, Global CMO of Kellogg’s and Chair of the 2013 Grand Effie Jury noted in a statement that the judges were unanimamous in selecting the campaign as the year’s top winner. “Call of Duty broke all industry records with a program that had powerful understanding and insight at its core,” he said. "The big idea was brilliantly executed and distributed across the paid, owned, and earned media landscape. In keeping with the principles of the Effies, the jury ultimately felt that Call of Duty best captured the principles of marketing cause and effect within this year’s finalists.”

Gold Effie winers included other celebrated creative campaigns like JWT New York's Band-Aid Magic Vision Augmented Reality App, which allows the "wounded" to place an iPhone or iPad over their Muppets-imprinted bandages to interact with characters like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Chipotle's "Cultivate for a Better World" out of CAA, the "Proud Sponsor of Moms" Olympics campaign for P&G out of Wieden + Kennedy, along with Carat, GMR Marketing, Taylor Strategy and DeVries Global, CP+B and Digitas' American Express "Small Business Saturday" campaign.

"Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness" for the Costa Rica Tourism Board, via 22squared, with PrizeLogic, Inc., Blind, Inc. and Think Conservatory,  "The Great Paper Airplane Project" for the Pima Air & Space Museum from BBDO San Francisco with Hunter PR and OgilvyOne Worldwide's In-Hotel Credit Card Acquisition for Intercontinental Hotels Group also earned Effies Gold.

The Effies also announced its 2013 North American Effectiveness Index rankings. The most effective agency of the year was Ogilvy & Mather New York, with BBDO New York and McKinney also ranking in the top three. Wieden + Kennedy earned the honor for most effective independent agency, followed by CAA. 22squared, Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee and Mother, N.Y. tied at third. P&G took the title of most effective advertiser for the thir year in a row, Mizuno was named most effective brand, while Omnicom was most effective holding company.

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