In the first ever teaser of the new game, we introduced one of the main characters of the upcoming Call of Duty Vanguard in Activions free-to-play multiplayer game – Call of Duty Warzone. We created an experience, where the players got their hard fought victory surprisingly stolen at the end of matches – leading to entertaining content shared directly by the community in all social channels.
Call of Duty has long been famous for spectacular single player campaigns, adding great storytelling to first person shooters. But during recent years they've had criticism for the lack of depth in their stories. So the single-player campaign has been a strong focus in the upcoming game.The single player campaign is important in many ways, and it's one of the best ways to attract players to buy the game.
To get players interested in the campaign, the mission was to build the main characters of the new game – Call of Duty Vanguard. A gaming taking place during WW2 focusing on four soldiers from different fronts of the war. One of the main characters go by the name Polina Petrova. A very skilled Russian sniper.
To hype her character and the story. We used Activions free-to-play multiplayer game as a media channel to get people interested in the pay-to-play game.
Describe the creative idea
One of the most interesting characters in the campaign is the skilled Russian sniper Polina Petrova. To introduce her we teased her in Activions free-to-play game – Call of Duty: Warzone. In Warzone you're thrown into a last-player-standing battle with a total of 150 online players, the objective is simple. To kill all other players and be the last one left alive. If you win, you get to enjoy the sweetness of victory by being the only one getting picked up by a helicopter.
So, to let the community get a hint of Polina's character, we let them experience her first hand and by changing the sought-after winning cut scene – and letting her steal their victory.
From out of nowhere, a mysterious sniper started to kill the last player standing.
"Who stole my victory?! and within hours Polina Petrova was a household name in the community.
Describe the strategy
Single player gaming is a core revenue driver for many games. But the last CoD-games have faced
criticism because off that the stories have lacked depth and mainly focused on American-centric
stereotyping. Which has led to many players loosing interest in the franchise.
Many game launches have hyped unique graphics and story before, we realized we needed
another focus to create attention. The compelling thing with Vanguard is that you play as real
WWII soldiers that fought in four real fronts—fronts that are rarely covered by the entertainment
industry today. This became our focus as it is a clear incentive to buy the single player game.
Secondly uploading spectacular moments from the CoD franchise to social media is common
within the community, if we could hijack these moments in a way we would get free publicity and
reach in an instant.
Describe the execution
We added a new winning cut scene to the game making people see their own character get shot at the place of killing the last other remaining player in the game. The cutscene was showed at random to winning players. Some got the standard cut-scene, some got the one where they saw their character get shot by a mysterious sniper.
During the month of August
Call of Duty Warzone
The cutscene was added randomly to Warzone-matches to all servers across the world.
Describe the outcome
• Coverage in the biggest gaming outlets (i.e. GameSpot, IGN, Gamesradar, Polygon, NME, Uproxx, Inverse, Venture beat etc.)
• 1000+ uploaded reactions on TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit and Instagram. First posted by @CharlieIntel
• Polina Petrova quickly trended within Call of Duty community
• Exposed and surprised most of the winners in Warzone's 100+ million player base
Positive sentiment in PR:
"This is easily one of the more interesting teasers that the franchise has done compared to its teasing of Black Ops Cold War in Warzone last year."
"Undoubtedly, this new CoD: Vanguard Warzone teaser has injected more excitement in the community and a desire to see the new game officially revealed soon." CharlieIntel
When you realize you'll never see the Polina Victory Royale cutscene yourself because you're trash at the game. @_Tom_Henderson @IGN
"No player's safe until they're off the battlegrounds" Gamespot
"A bloody conclusion to warzone matches" IGN