Welcome back to Twinfinite’s recap of the past month’s top ads. October has been riddled with FPS commercials and there’s no sign of them slowing down either with the release of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 just around the corner. There’s a few other commercials that were thrown into the mix but shooters were on my mind and the lasting impression I got from the video game ads of October. So let’s get to it! Here are the best ads of the month.
There are at least 3 different Battlefield 4 ads that are currently being shown on TV. Talk about overkill, but that’s the amount of ammunition you need to bring to a gunfight with the reigning FPS champion Call of Duty releasing this month.
‘Real Players’ is my favorite one of the three. The 60-second spot features real players being interviewed about their playthrough experience with the multiplayer in Battlefield 4. The players discuss Battlefield 4‘s new feature “Levolution” that creates highly thematic maps that may include skyscrapers collapsing to frigates crashing onshore. Paired with some action-packed gameplay and the signature Battlefield theme we all know and love, Battlefield 4 has solidified itself as the shooter to play in October and the months to come.
‘Ticking Bomb’ is the weaker of the three trailers sitting in the BF4 campaign in my opinion. The commercial features quotes from reviewers followed by multiple scenes mainly coming from the single player mode focusing on destruction. It’s one of the more generic BF4 ads but it still gets the job done showcasing just how great looking BF4 really is.
And finally we have the ‘See You There’ TV spot. This 60-second spot, in a way, takes the best parts of the aforementioned commercials and combines them into one. The ad features a man talking about some of the highlights players can only experience in Battlefield 4 and invites the viewer to join him and the many other users currently enjoying BF4.
Until recently, I was ready to give Battlefield the nod over Call of Duty without hesitation for the one with the better ads. Even with Megan Fox showing up in November, I still think these BF4 ads do a better job representing the actual game. And since this is an October Review, I’m giving BF4 the win over COD. So what are you waiting for? You can pick up a copy of Battlefield 4 for PS3, 360, and PC now. Next-gen versions will be available on launch day for their respective systems.
Batman: Arkham Origins – TV Spot
This spot is reminiscent of the Gears of War ‘Mad World’ ad in that it pits the hero against overwhelming odds while playing a somber melody. The ad depicts the transformation of Bruce Wayne from his dark childhood to his position as the feared crime-fighting hero Batman. We get a glimpse of the emotional background in Bruce’s past starting with the murder of his parents all the way to his fight with Bane. The changes in his expression is also done wonderfully. We get to see joy change into shock, sorrow lead to anger, and defeat transform into determination. With the title being an origin story, the scenes show significant aspects from Bruce Wayne’s past that lead him to becoming the Dark Knight.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – TV Spot
So far I’ve seen two adverts for Black Flag, but I really want to focus on this one. Why? Doesn’t it feel familiar? I mean it’s the same exact formula. Pick a popular song that’s almost completely irrelevant to the title, add single word adjectives from well-known reviewers, and combine it with high adrenaline scenes from the game, and boom you have an ad. Meh…
Call of Duty: Ghosts – TV Spot
I can forgive whomever created this ad simply because there’s a better ad already out that overshadows this one. Similar to the AC4 ad, this style was, is, and will always be in poor taste. At least the AC4 ad contained a little bit of dialogue. This commercial focuses solely on the single player campaign and, for some odd reason, shows one too many scenes where a character is holding on to something for dear life. The one thing I can appreciate is the use of all in-game footage and the song “Survival” by Eminem. But I rather see game ads stray away from this archaic formula and have more storytelling, or feature actual creative work.
BBH New York does a seemingly perfect job matching PlayStation 4 with Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. Rather than tapping into player’s emotions and nostalgia as PlayStation’s ‘For The Players Since 1995’ ad does, ‘Perfect Day’ creatively focuses on “friendly” competition among friends.
The 60-second advert begins with two players about to duel while singing lines from the song. They sing it well enough that you might wonder if the song has ever been done as a duet. After the demise of one of the players, he gets his revenge by flipping his friend’s car in a Driveclub race. The upside down aerial shot of the driver, who’s still singing his lines, is hilarious. At the end we see the players engaging in a little ISA vs Helghast from the Killzone series. All of this happens while the players seem to be having the time of their lives.
This ad is great. It plays well with the social features highlighted by Sony in their PS4 and the lighthearted song also does a nice job playing against the violent nature of the ad turning it into a playful one. Nothing says a perfect day like friends sharing a moment together, even if its making it as violent as possible. RIP Lou Reed.
Here we go! I’m giving this ad the Official Ad of the Month Award. Directed by Bryan Buckley, the 90-second spot introduces us to the “new generation” (not next-generation) by using characters and elements found on Xbox One to call on average people in their everyday lives to join them in their worlds. The ad features the likes of a titan from Titanfall crashing a business meeting, Steven Gerrard of Liverpool FC calling out a fan, Zachary Quinto’s Spock inviting a woman waiting at on a train platform, a McLaren P1 sports car enticing a driver to upgrade, a zombie luring a student away from his studies at a library, and lastly a Roman general from Ryse: Son of Rome taking a man away from his morning coffee.
One criticism I have about the ad is why not go even further with more characters, specifically Master Chief? I understand Microsoft wants to focus on what’s available within the launch but they included Titanfall right? I guess it releases within Xbox One’s “launch window” but I would have gone the whole nine yards and included Halo.
The ad later shows unique Xbox One features including Kinect voice-commands, watching sports, and snapping applications such as Skype. CP+B does an excellent job tying it all together with the narrator stating that “this is an invitation to a new generation, where your games and entertainment are no longer separated, but together in one” on Xbox One. The idea of blurring the lines between entertainment and our every day lives is also done rather nicely. With games and entertainment being apart of our daily lives, Microsoft positions itself nicely as the must-have console to have for all your entertainment needs.
‘Invitation’ feels vaguely familiar, it was only a few days earlier that BBH released ‘Perfect Day’ promoting PlayStation’s “Greatness Awaits” campaign. Both ads feature a similar concept of blurring the lines between games and reality. PlayStation’s take is more subtle, but its primary focus is “friendly” competition among friends. CP+B’s ad is warm and “inviting” while educating its audience on what the Xbox One is capable of, and you can’t help but want to “jump ahead” to the new generation and become apart of it.
Xbox One is available worldwide on November 22.
That about wraps up my top ads in October. What did you guys think? Did I miss any that really stood out to you? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!