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Published on November 5th, 2013 | by Chris Scott


Question of the Week: Battlefield or Call of Duty, Sony or Microsoft: who is winning the advertising war?

Welcome to Critically Sane’s Question of the Week, where we do our best to answer an inquiry posed to us by the community. Have your own question? Tweet it to us @criticallysane or put it in the comments below!

Battlefield or Call of Duty, Sony or Microsoft: who has the best advertising?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve watched two giant marketing wars take place. In the realm of software, Electronic Arts and Activision are once again poised to go head to head with modern war shooters, this time with Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts. And in the realm of hardware, Sony and Microsoft are fighting next gen battles with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. What is interesting about both wars is how different the marketing for both has been recently.

It has been near impossible to escape the onslaught of marketing for these four products. Electronic Arts has decided that the best way to market their title is to tout the praise they have received from the media in regards to Battlefield 4, even going so far as to use a quote that expressly puts down their competition. It’s not a new tactic, as Pepsi and Coke have been doing it for years, but to me it doesn’t turn me on to your product. Why should I play Battlefield 4 over Call of Duty: Ghosts? Because IGN said its better? OK I guess, but you aren’t really selling me.

On the flip side we have Activision, whose latest Call of Duty trailer shows absolutely no gameplay. In fact it doesn’t even show the game at all: just a bunch of guys running around Vegas (and space) shooting guns. But, somehow while watching it, I know immediately what the game is and why I should be playing it. We know what Call of Duty is, and even without seeing the game we can guess what it is going to look like, so Activision marketing the social aspect of their title works for me. Why should I play Call of Duty: Ghosts over Battlefield? Because your friends are going to be playing it with you.

I find it funny that I enjoy the marketing effort of Call of Duty: Ghosts when Sony is attempting to instill the same vibe with their latest Playstation 4 commercial and I just don’t get it. Evidently playing Sony’s Playstation 4 with my friends will turn my playtime into some sort of weird musical. I don’t get it. Why should I want to spend $400 on a Playstation 4? I don’t know but if you get one, your life will become a bad broadway musical. Sony should be attempting to sell me on their system. Much like with their past marketing campaigns, they just aren’t getting it.

For all the wrongs that Microsoft has made over the past year, this is something they have gotten wonderfully correct with their latest Xbox One commercial. The Xbox One: Invitation campaign has showcased exactly what I need for it to sell me on the product. Next gen features? Check. Next gen games? Check. Next gen excitement? Check. Like the Call of Duty campaign, this answers my questions and gets me excited for the product. Maybe not enough to buy it (only because you were buying it already- editor) but enough for me to start asking questions about it, while planting seeds of doubt about the competition. And getting me interested in your product enough that I look into it further down the line is exactly what good advertising needs to do.

And so having answered this week’s question I leave you with what might be my favorite marketing commercial I stumbled across while researching this piece. I will never look at a real teabag the same way again.

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  • Don Parsons

    hahahahhahaah, I love the Tea Bag one.

    • Napoleon1066

      Really? I figured it would bring back some horrifying memories for you.

      • Wolf

        ::Shakes head::

  • Wolf

    For those of us waiting to buy in to the next-gen or next iteration, the saturation of advertising is enough to push me away from news/media just to avoid it.

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