The new Chuck Norris World of Warcraft Advertisement is only acceptable if we get something cool in game like the Mr. T Face Grenades. (They were actually called Night Elf Mohawk Grenades but my name is cooler.) They were ultimately useless but added a little something to the world. Like the alliance. (I kid, I kid!)
Blizzard’s strategy with celebrity endorsements appears to be to get angry men to frown into the camera and intimidate folk into playing the game. Evidence!
But even if there was a fun in game gadget, the advert would just be ok. Not great or funny or clever. Celebrities who probably never use a computer (like Mr. T and Chuck Norris) endorsing a computer game not only doesn’t make sense for obvious reasons, it’s condescending and weird. It’d be like Paul McCartney advertising McDonalds astride a cow. If Chuck Norris claimed to have a WoW subscription before they paid him money to say he does, I will eat my own head.
The two things that make this especially bad marketing are as follows:
Chuck Norris jokes are an old meme. They were old last year, and the year before that. Advertisers should either pick up new memes and use them in a sort of credible edgy way AND accept that by doing so they will kill them, OR they should leave them alone. Propping up a dead meme doesn’t reinforce my decision to subscribe. I’m mostly just upset this is how they spend my money. I’m surprised they haven’t tried Rick Astley. Maybe he isn’t macho enough. Maybe if he sang about “Never Going to Give Up Punching Things” he’d have more of a shot.
Chuck Norris holds some pretty repellent right wing views. He hates gays, loves guns and america and Jesus, all evidenced on that there linked page. While I find patriotism + guns + religion to be a pretty unwise mix, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with those views. His hatred of gays AND his vocal right wing political views alienate me. Old jokes + weird politics = bad marketing.
The Mr. T adverts at least rates a “Quite” on the badass scale. Chuck Norris rates a “Used to be.”
Response on WorldofWarcraft’s Youtube Page is mixed, at the moment.
The concept behind the ad campaigns is fine. Some of them are actually funny. The Ozzy Osbourne one in particular makes me happy. This is mostly because he’s represented as Horde and I’m fed of of Alliance getting all the awesome. It pleases me especially because there is footage of him in front of a computer, rather than just wandering around in-game.
This poor darling has it wrong, as it happens. I do share the sense of the injustice that few of these celebrities actually play the game. Rather, they enjoy the image it creates for them of “Kicker of Stuff”. (Walls mostly, in Chuck’s case. )
Verne Troyer talks about stuff you can actually do. Sure you can be a hunter like Chuck Norris, but you can’t do half the things he does in his game trailer And Mr. T was a class that doesn’t even exist.
Some celebrities actually do play and have talked about it. Mila Kunis (yes, her), Jonathan Ross and Jane Goldman play together, according to their twitter accounts. This is surely better publicity than lame half-joke concepts executed using celebrities who probably never played a day in their lives before the money was offered.
If we must have celebrities who don’t play, let’s at least have some diversity. I think Blizzard are just trying to overcompensate, a fact that Charlie Brooker articulates brilliantly in his piece on why CoD characters are dickheads:
What, exactly, are they overcompensating for? Well, for one thing, games are inherently wussy. The stereotype of the bespectacled dweeby gamer is an inaccurate cliche, but there’s no denying games are far from a beefy pursuit.
Macho ad-guys are the game worlds equivalent to a flashy sports car. ’nuff said.