Megan Fox is the first female lead celebrity in a Call of Duty spot!
IDEA: What happens here, stays here … particularly if the city crumbles to the ground.
72andSunny travels to a bombed-out Las Vegas for its latest jaw-dropping, live-action trailer, breaking this coming Saturday, for Activision’s Call of Duty. This spot, for Ghosts, the 10th game in the franchise, marks the fourth year of the theme “There’s a soldier in all of us.” The ads have been creatively stellar for years—from TBWA’s 2010 Black Ops spot with Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel through 72’s trailers for Modern Warfare 3, with Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington, and Black Ops II, with Robert Downey Jr. They’ve also been enormously effective, winning 2013’s Grand Effie and Adweek’s Brand Genius award for Activision CMO Tim Ellis.
The new spot, “Epic Night Out,” follows the same general creative path as the earlier spot—unexpected celebrity cameo, potent music, flashy action that mimics the emotion of playing the game—but brings new insights, new toys and a new tone supplied largely by a Frank Sinatra soundtrack.
“Each year we want to shock and awe our audience and the world,” said Ellis. “And we feel like this is the best work we’ve ever done.”
FILMING/TALENT: Director James Mangold shot the spot over seven days, re-creating Vegas on the Warner Bros. lot and filming the Arctic scenes at an airport in Burbank, Calif., and the space footage on a blue screen.
For the friends, the agency looked for a mix of ethnicities and types—alpha male, prankster, etc. “We thought about the pros and cons of having four guys you know, or four guys you don’t know,” said Cole. “I think an important question with these [ads] is: At what point might a famous personality overshadow the story we’re trying to tell, or the connection we’re trying to make? This year it’s four guys you probably haven’t seen, even though they’ve had roles in Hollywood.”
Fox’s scene is all of 10 seconds long, but she’s the first woman to be the lead celebrity in a Call of Duty spot. “She’s fun, she’s sexy, she’s cool, she’s badass, she’s recognizable around the world. And the role was fun,” said Cole.
“Video gaming isn’t just about dudes today,” said Ellis, adding that he generally looks for “unpredictable” stars who don’t do a lot of ads.