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Best video game marketing campaigns ever


Angry BirdsAngry Birds

It’s been downloaded over 3 billion times. Part of the reason it’s so appealing to so many people is that that’s exactly what the product was designed to do — be simple and universal. The people behind it did intensive market research, and showed their app to Apple. At the same time, they also released a trailer that people could watch on YouTube mentioning that fact. This was one of the first times an app game had been marketed with a trailer like that. And yeah, we’d have to say they did a pretty good job. Today, Angry Birds is more than an app; it’s a real brand.

Call of dutyCall of Duty Black Ops

A good video game trailer can get tons of people talking about the video game, and the trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops was so cool that it was appealing even if you’re not a gamer. It features regular people sneaking around a war zone with giant guns blowing stuff up, with the slogan “There’s a soldier in all of us.” The Rolling Stones soundtrack just made it that much cooler.

In the first 24 hours it was on sale, people had purchased over 5.6 million copies, beating the previous record for most copies of a video game sold in 24 hours by 2.3 million. The game has sold over 25 million copies in total to date. Nice work, Call of Duty!

GTAGrand Theft Auto V

You’ve probably heard of the Grand Theft Auto series (or GTA). They often make headlines for being spectacularly violent, but for the fifth edition of their game they were getting attention for their clever marketing campaign instead. It all started with a tweet containing a link to a website for Grand Theft Auto V in October. A little while later, a trailer was released, then another one. In December, they were the cover store of Game Informer. The following March, they had street art murals going up around New York City, along with billboards and ads all over the country.

halo 5Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 was probably going to be a big seller no matter what, as the Halo franchise is massive. But they didn’t want to just be a big seller; they wanted to be one of the biggest! Their mission was definitely accomplished, and they made over $400 million in sales in just the first week it was out. The campaign for Halo 5 started with a sneak peek for their most dedicated fans. People who bought The Master Chief Collection also got an early beta version of Halo 5. Right from the start, that got the hardcore players talking about the new version.

Lara CroftLara Croft: Rise of the Tomb Raider

This campaign was awarded the 2016 Game Marketing Awards; prize for “Outstanding Overall Marketing Campaign – Core Games.” That’s because it was truly impressive. Here are a few of the things it incorporated into its campaign:

Mario Kart 8

Mario is massive and there are tons of games in the franchise. One of the titles that had the best marketing campaigns behind it was Mario Kart 8, released in 2014, which helped bring the Nintendo Wii U out of a sales slump. Actually, it more than just helped — it boosted sales 666%!

The campaign had a long push behind it, with over a year of little hints and snippets that got fans so worked up they were bursting for the game to finally be here. There were online promotions, special deals for pre-ordering, and even a project with NASCAR where Mario and Luigi made appearances trackside.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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