I’m never one to run away from being wrong about something. If I’m wrong, I’ll often openly and freely admit it. Well, Gearheads, I’ve got to say that I was very wrong when I had a lengthy discussion with Blankman a few nights ago.
What was I wrong about? Well, my first visceral reaction to the Gears of War 2 commercial was not a positive one. My general feeling was, “Wow, this is basically another Mad World, but since we’ve seen Mad World already, I was hoping for something a little different with a different vibe.” I also said, it feels a bit like Gears of Emo.
Well, I stand corrected. I’ve watched the commercial multiple times now. You know, it’s really effective. And it’s effective for the same reason that the first ad was. The commercial has very much a movie trailer feel to it. And there are very few times that I see a video game commercial where it has that emotional connection with a viewer. Granted the ad probably has a disconnect from the actual content of the game, or at least the first ad and game did, but the ad resonates with you. There truly is nothing out there in video games that approach advertising like the Gears ads have. I mean, I’m not sure if there is a more visceral video game franchise out there right now and so the advertising seeks to evoke a pure emotional response from the viewer. In many ways, the visceral nature of gameplay in Gears speaks directly to those emotions of joy when getting a perfect headshot or sneaking up on an opponent and sawing them from behind.
So the commercial seeks to evoke the sadness that Dom feels in searching for Maria. The reluctance of fighting that Marcus feels. And the memory of a beautiful Sera when Cole sees the flower through the sniper scope. Ultimately, advertising is intended to do a few things, including raising brand awareness and evoke a gut emotional response. I think this ad does accomplish that.
I’m free to change my mind on things and upon further examination, I think the Gears 2 ad is brilliant and I expect it to help move a ton of Gears 2 units.