Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, "The Vet and the n00b"

Category: Leisure Products and Services
Brand/Client: Call of Duty / Activision Blizzard, Inc
Lead Agency: 72andSunny
Contributing Agencies: OMD, SapientNitro, Edelman

State of the brand's business

This is not the story of an underdog. It's about Call of Duty: the titan of videogaming and an entertainment obsession for millions. Two years ago, we broke entertainment launch records with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. A year later, we did the impossible again with Black Ops 2, shattering both gaming and box office records to the tune of $650M in 5 days. And now, with the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we were being asked to break our own record for the third year in a row. Our challenge was unprecedented, something that even epic movie trilogies very rarely pull off: the sales record hat trick.

The dismal economy compounded the task at hand. Disposable income was way down, particularly for our target; weekly direct spending had gone down 55% for teens and 41% for 20-somethings. The gaming category was in decline too, down 12% year-on-year. People just weren't buying as many games as they once did.