War, Children, It’s Just A Shot Away


Sam Machkovech of The Atlantic doesn’t care for the TBWA\Chiat\Day-produced commercial above.

I couldn’t have asked for a more disappointing game-related ad. These aren’t the video games I play. Even at their highest levels of action and violence, video games play like sophisticated games of Cops & Robbers. They’re silly; they require colorful, funny-shaped controllers; they stay decidedly in the domain of detached fiction.
This ad equips people with real guns and simulates real-life, no-CGI combat. The thud of recoil, the screams of rockets, the dust of explosions… and the look of exasperation on that little, shotgun-wielding girl. The only things missing are the dead bodies on the receiving ends of each bullet and blast.

I’m not a gamer, so it’s all a blur to me. But I do like the multimillion dollar soundtrack.
[UPDATE] According to Variety, “Black Ops,” is the seventh installment in Activison Blizzard’s “Call of Duty” franchise, which has earned $4 billion to date. So that explains their rich taste in music.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.