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Diablo 4’s marketing campaign is far more volatile than mobile advertising.

On June 6, the sky turned orange. Smoke from wildfires in Canada has moved south, casting a dull orange color over the northeastern US states. New York City seemed surreal and post-apocalyptic, and residents breathed in dangerous air. Orange smoke obscures the skyscrapers and towers, and only the flashing screens of Times Square eerily illuminate the city streets.

One billboard bluntly said “Welcome to Hell, New York.”

A timely and haphazard advertisement. Activision Blizzard’s Diablo 4 It was officially released the day before. Lilith, as large as a small building, looms over New Yorkers whose eyes are burning in the smoke. Someone on Twitter is making a joke. Diablo 4‘s marketing team has gone too far.

Activision Blizzard, of course, didn’t set fires to Canada’s forests to produce massive amounts of smoke that were sent south by the wind. But the apocalyptic weather seemed to underscore the sheer weirdness and audacity of Activision Blizzard’s main sporadic marketing campaign, even as video game marketing stunts became increasingly daring.

The only threads that seem to tie this campaign together are word of mouth and shock value. It’s a marketing that’s easier to see in the mobile gaming realm. That’s not to say that this kind of marketing isn’t unheard of in console and PC gaming, of course, but it’s ubiquitous in the mobile space. Off gameplay that doesn’t actually exist in the game, marketing calculated to go viral. Diablo 4′‘s marketing embodies the spirit of mobile gaming advertising, whether intended or not.

Activision Blizzard has attacked every kind of marketing move we’ve seen for video games, basically in an effort to be “part of the conversation in places you don’t normally see video games or Diablo.” Diablo 4 Lord Ferguson.

Celebrity Certification? Megan Fox and Chloë Grace Moretz both appeared in the ad. Fox has appeared in a series of highly calculated tweets and videos mocking people who don’t count well. Diablo 4, and a few famous streamers. Moretz appeared in the video and Diablo 4 character too. These features aren’t too unusual if you think about Fox’s work and aesthetics. Jennifer’s body, everyone? (Fox’s ad campaign isn’t loved by everyone, but some suggest it’s taking game marketing back decades. For others, Fox is their mom and fits the role perfectly.) You mentioned: An interview about her love of video games.

Celebrity marketing isn’t new either, but recent mobile gaming ads seem to usher in the era of celebrity or unexpected celebrity cameos. Pedro Pascal, right after the success our lastAppeared in ads for Merge Mansion, unhinged mobile gaming. In 2022, the mobile game Royal Match ran an advertisement featuring Rick Hoffman.suits) appears to be from Cameo, an app that allows fans to pay celebrities if they say certain lines. However, the trend towards larger titles is also growing. League of Legends Before unveiling the new anthem, Lil Nas X featured him as Riot Games’ “new CEO” in the ad. Diablo 4 We also got the national anthem. Halsey sings.

Activision Blizzard also held a launch party at a church in Los Angeles. Writer and game guru Danny Peña told Polygon that the party ended with Lilith flying off the ceiling, skin cape, etc. before Zedd showed up to the DJ. “That’s when you realize the company has a big budget,” said Peña. “Hollywood is getting into the gaming industry in earnest.” It’s probably about expanding the Diablo franchise to new people, he said. This publicity stunt again mirrors a campaign of sorts. Merge Mansion Recently picked. In March, the developers invited influencers to a themed real-world scavenger hunt hosted by Paramour Estate in Los Angeles.

But it didn’t stop there. Questionable food? all right. Activating fast food? yes. Activision Blizzard hired marketing firm B-Reel to create and distribute a vegan smoothie made to look like mixed meat. We’ve also partnered with KFC to give it away for free. Diablo 4 A deal has been made with Burger King to reward players who can knock down 5 spicy double cheeseburgers. There’s also First We Feast’s dang hot sauce. hot thing. Some of these activations feel like challenges or threats, but they make sense. Lilith literally wears a cloak of skin, so Meatshake’s guts aren’t all that surprising. We’ve come to expect food campaigns as a marketing strategy for video games and more. McDonald’s is known for its bundled toys, but these campaigns are usually a little more appetizing or cute.

Fergusson told Polygon that these kinds of food collaborations are popular on TikTok. However, Polygon found that the TikToks to Meat Shakes appeared to mostly come from smaller accounts or paid partnerships that didn’t quite take off. For KFC, it made sense to be involved as a company. It has its own gaming arm, Diablo 4said Kaleb Ruel, VP of Marketing at

The company behind Gross Drinks is completely committed to beets. When asked for the recipe, B-Reel joked that it was devil meat mixed into a cup. “We ended up with a drink based on ghoul brains topped with sweet and delicious red, black and white devil juice, topped off with a layer of smoky see-through skin to keep everything in place.” B-Reel creative team Zack McDonald, Afshin Moeini and Christian Poppius told Polygon via email. They didn’t provide a real recipe that would be impenetrable like the gates of hell.

Then there are the seemingly unrelated brand partnerships. Next is Satan’s Chocolate Shop. How about a giant mural fixed to the ceiling of a cathedral? It’s a fun pick for a game you play in Satanic Panic, and fun after Activision Blizzard has already taken the more traditional route of putting major billboards in New York City. A trailer directed by an award-winning filmmaker? Eternals Chloé Zhao is on board.

What’s the more important question? Did not do it Activision Blizzard? Companies have likely spent millions of dollars building these campaigns. (Blizzard has declined to share its marketing budget. Diablo 4How this would fit together, it’s hard to imagine who would actually want to drink (or eat?) a “meat” shake. But that doesn’t seem to be the most important part of the campaign. Rather, the crux of the campaign may be vast, says marketing guru Polygon.

Release & pop-up to mark the launch of the Diablo IV video game in London, UK on June 2, 2023

Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Zeitgeist

“Launch marketing is definitely an example of ‘more is more’. Because now the game has proven to be a worthy addition to the 26-year-old franchise. A lot of people may not have played a Diablo game or even an RPG dungeon crawler of this type.” The Game Marketer CEO Phillip Driver told Polygon via email. “Blizzard needed something too big for this to fail, and it only needs to gain massive momentum in the market.”

Activision Blizzard is competing with YouTube, TikTok, film and TV, as well as other video games, Lemonade the Agency Marketing CEO Trevor Dudeck told Polygon. “We live in an attention economy,” Dudeck said. “Every brand is at war for the same 24 hours, and it’s getting harder and harder to break through.”

According to Dudeck, going big is just an attempt to reach as many people as possible. “It takes a willingness to put a lot of junk together and say, ‘OK, let’s do 20 things,'” says Dudeck. “Ten of them may not relate to anyone else. 5 may collapse. But 5 or 6 that you can catch up to will do really well. Many brands are unwilling to take that risk.”

It makes sense to play with the series’ own shocking values. Diablo 4 It somehow moves you to a darker place than before. There is no good feeling here, only shock and awe. And at least all of the ads are directly related to video games and their themes. Mobile game ads often bear little resemblance to the source material.

It seems to have worked. Diablo 4 A billboard obscured by a smoky orange sky is some indication. And Activision Blizzard issued the following press release in another calculated marketing move: Diablo 4 The game sold $666 million worldwide in its first five days of release, making it “the best-selling opening in Blizzard history”.

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