Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on social
As one of the largest console franchises of this generation, the launch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was always going to generate plenty of buzz, especially after the success of its predecessors in the lucrative franchise, which is now over 10-years-old. As you may have read in Venture Beat, we’ve been looking at the conversation on social surrounding the Call of Duty launch.
While you’d always expect a game with the mass global appeal of Call of Duty to create a lot of buzz on social channels, its marketing team did well to extend the conversation on social media with content featuring competitions, behind the scenes footage and exclusives.
What’s it like inside @SHGames? @TmarTn stopped by to visit the #AdvancedWarfare developers and took the grand tour: http://t.co/gJH9WBoOyL
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) October 22, 2014
RT and you could win a Custom @CallofDuty #AdvancedWarfare @Xbox One. Rules: http://t.co/EQwyjO88aJ #CODAWLaunch pic.twitter.com/mR93g6RIlM — Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) October 27, 2014
It used popular internet sensation, ‘the goat’ in its trailer, as the phrase ‘GOAT’ is also a popular in-game clan tag, which is an acronym for ‘Greatest Of All Time’ – a clever choice taking into account Call of Duty audience insight.
To appeal to a wider audience, content also featured Oscar-winning House of Cards favourite Kevin Spacey and model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski.
Excited to share my .@CallofDuty #AdvancedWarfare commercial! http://t.co/JWkavuZTP7 pic.twitter.com/TNTjDLkcq5 — Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) October 30, 2014
Call of Duty’s Facebook page also supported the launch with a visual content strategy. Content both in the last few days and over 2014 as a whole on the platform focused on promoting Advanced Warfare, with photo posts dominating (33%), followed by videos hosted directly on the Facebook page (32%) and links to videos on YouTube (27%).
Call of Duty also drew its launch out over a longer time period, allowing hype to build even further. For the first time, 24-hours early access to the game was available on ‘Day Zero’, acting as a soft launch on Monday before yesterday’s official one. It promoted the day on social with fun content such as ‘Zero Day excuses’ for people looking for time off to play the game, as well as countdowns and teasers. On the day, there was a live stream shared across social for fans to tune into and follow the launch as well as Vine content showing gameplay.
For those of you staying home and playing #AdvancedWarfare tomorrow: Have more #DayZero #Exocuses? Reply with yours! pic.twitter.com/PRCULzrObK
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) November 3, 2014
The #AdvancedWarfare #DayZero UK livestream is now LIVE! RT if you’re tuning in – http://t.co/5V6TXE4npO pic.twitter.com/CRvy33YiZl — Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) November 3, 2014
Activision team members celebrating #DayZero with an in-office #AdvancedWarfare tournament https://t.co/ZzPxXUGchA
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) November 4, 2014
The tactics paid off, with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare generating record levels of pre-launch social conversation on 2nd Nov, with 187,127 mentions across Twitter, blogs and forums. This is four times more than its predecessor Call of Duty: Ghosts, more than double the mentions of its nearest 2014 competitor Titanfall (90,761), three and a half times more than FIFA 15 (53,547) and over four times as many mentions as Destiny (43,001). And pre-launch sentiment was 77% positive, compared to 60% for Ghosts.
The trend continued into Day Zero itself, during which Call of Duty was mentioned 260,188 mentions, with Kevin Spacey featuring high up on the list of conversation topics with 2,235 mentions.
Some people see a new Call of Duty as an answer for something. Kevin Spacey sees it as an opportunity to not blink. pic.twitter.com/gWMUPaNDGb
— Rust Cohle (@RustCohleGames) November 3, 2014
As expected fans were drawn in by the game’s features and expressed their views on social. By Day Zero, weapons overtook maps as the most talked about feature of the game with 59% of mentions – the BAL-27 and AK-12 emerged as the gamers weapon of choice. When it came to the battle of the platforms, Xbox dominated Call of Duty conversations, with a 59% of share of voice on Day Zero, followed by PlayStation (33%) and PC (8%); a trend that continued into the official launch day yesterday.
As we can see from the above, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been a launch that didn’t disappoint. As a gamer myself, it was fascinating to see the conversation unfold over the last few days and the excitement building on across social. Call of Duty seems to have hit the nail on the head this year with just the right level of gaming geekiness combined with pop culture to keep all relevant audiences engaged with the conversation.
Maybe I’m biased, as a fan, but my feeling is that it can build on the success of 2014 even further for its next edition. Now, if you’ll excuse me, suddenly I feel as though I’m coming down with a 24 hour bug….