Every year, Activision augments the main release of Call of Duty with a season of downloadable digital content -- a strategy that ensures players remain engaged with the game throughout the year. DLC is a "massive part" of the Call of Duty business, said Todd Harvey, SVP Consumer Marketing, Activision.
For Call of Duty: Ghosts, 72andSunny teams with MJZ's Craig Gillespie for "CODNapped," a high-octane, immensely entertaining spot that features Boardwalk Empire's Stephen Graham serial-kidnapping people who have many other, lesser demands on their time.
The strategy, according to Mr. Harvey, works because it struck the right balance -- it built upon the success of last year's "Black Ops II" DLC campaign, but also had a tone unique to "Ghosts." Namely, it highlighted teamwork, a major part of the Ghosts marketing campaign, said Mr. Harvey.
Glenn Cole, chief creative officer at 72andSunny, said that because Call of Duty is a "social" game, "CODnapped" also had to be an inherently social idea."The game is intense and fun, but more than anything it's something you play with your friends. So when new maps come out there's a pretty big social pressure to make sure you find the time to get in, learn the maps, and start playing together," he said.
At the same time, everyone has something they recognize in the spot -- because everyone has the real-world pressures of a significant other demanding "quality time," or a boss who just won't quit. "We get the wishing that there were a way to bail on commitments to just go indulge and play," said Mr. Cole.
Mr. Graham was chosen because he had a "natural swagger" and a "badass nature" perfect for the brand, said Mr. Harvey.