Thursday, January 28, 2010

Modern Warfare 2 (Launch Trailer) -- Information Search and Market Targeting

The highly anticipated release of Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (the sequel to its award-winning predecessor Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) has created an immense fan base that now scrutinizes and awaits its every move. Casual and professional critics alike now praise its developer's strategies ranging from Public Relations, Marketing, and of course, the formation of the game itself.

Modern Warfare 2's Launch Trailer is an excellent representation of a few marketing applications and concepts at work. Before much of the trailer shows many facts or clues about the gameplay itself, we are bombarded with very favorable quotes and criticism from popular video game magazines and companies who have been able to preview the game before its release. The concept of Information Search, step 2 of the Consumer's Buying Decision Process, can be directly applied to this portion of the Launch Trailer. As viewers watch the trailer, they will be introduced to the knowledge (or information) that Game Informer believes the game to be "Jaw-Dropping," or The Official Xbox Magazine (UK) affirming that it is "The decade's most anticipated game." The idea is that these professional opinions will sway the audiences buying decision in favor of the game.

Secondly, we discover that Infinity Ward chose to use "Till I Collapse," a cut off of Eminem's 2002 album, The Eminem Show, as background music. This marketing decision is an example of the concept of Market Targeting. Choosing Eminem, an acclaimed hip-hop artist more familiar to the Millenials, will intentionally and unintentionally adolescents to young adults. Targeting a rather large market segment, it's an arguably smart move by Infinity Ward if they can hit their mark...

Fortunately, for Infinity Ward's sake, Eminem markets himself efficiently as well through his own music and recording label, Interscope Records. Even those who aren't hip-hop enthusiasts will probably know or have heard of Eminem. And whether you like him or not, there is no denying that he has a hardened reputation for making great music or forging together club-banging beats. Eminem himself has become a reliable and respectable brand in his industry, giving Modern Warfare 2 instant credibility by participating in its marketing strategy. After watching the trailer myself during a Sunday Night Football game, it precipitated actions which are all positive from Infinity Ward's perspective, including researching the game's release date, looking for the trailer clip on YouTube, possibly to re-post it on Facebook (marketing the game even further), and just simply spreading the word with my friends.

Marketing concepts aside, Infinity Ward's launch trailer was created and designed to feed its following's cult-like hunger but also to leave them with an insatiable desire for more. According to the results, it seems that they have outdone themselves, garnering over $1 billion worldwide since the game's launch, selling more than 15 million units (14.4 million units in the first week). The games success show that Inifinity Ward's marketing firm has a firm grasp on it's target market.

Brian Chu
Section G

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