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QYOU And Activision Partner On 2023’s Innovative Call Of Duty InfluencerCreator Campaign

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QYOU And Activision Partner On 2023’s Innovative Call Of Duty Influencer/Creator Campaign

Los Angeles-based influencer marketing agency QYOU has collaborated with video game giant Activision on a unique creator-driven campaign to promote the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. The marketing effort features five top social media creators who took part in Activision’s NEXT showcase event and live action “Lobby” trailer.

“In casting influencer talent for ‘The Lobby,’ we sought creators who mirrored the spirit and diversity of the ‘Call of Duty’ community—dynamic, varied, authentic,” says Lexi St. John, Vice President of Creative and GM of QYOU Studios.

The influencer “squad” assembled by QYOU includes musical entertainer SpencerX (55 million followers), artist ZHC (15.5 million followers), basketball player Jamad Fiin (2.1 million followers), cosplayer Trevor Bell (5.4 million followers), and lifestyle vlogger Michelle Munchie (8.6 million followers). Each brought their unique backgrounds and talents to the campaign events.

“As production for ‘The Lobby’ unfolded, it became clear that these creators were more than a marketing component, but that their presence in the campaign was evolving,” says Victor Acosta, Associate Director of Digital Marketing at Activision.

SpencerX ultimately landed a speaking part alongside prominent celebrities in the finished ad spot. “Our approach was to provide our creator partners with opportunities that opened doors for them to thrive in their element,” remarks Glenn Ginsburg, President of QYOU. “This fluidity allowed them to remain unapologetically themselves.”

QYOU And Activision Partner On 2023’s Innovative Call Of Duty Influencer/Creator Campaign

Bringing Gaming Worlds to Life

In the Call of Duty franchise, the lobby is where players gather before entering matches. The creative concept for this year’s campaign trailer was to bring such a lobby to life with characters from the game mingling with real-world figures. Set in a stylized lobby environment, the ad stars athletes, musicians and other celebrity fans interacting with popular game characters.

“Growing up as a beatboxer, video games opened up entire worlds for me to explore and learn from,” says SpencerX. “Fast forward to today and I am making sound effects as an actor in a Call of Duty production with pioneers in their craft, bringing joy and hope at a time where happiness, peace and an overall positive experience are at stake for many in the world.”

The multiple day lobby shoot required long hours on set without access to phones, placing demands on QYOU’s production team to capture compelling behind-the-scenes content. “There was a lot of real hustle in the moment to make this stuff, to really capture all the content and then produce that content and edit that content into compelling stories,” says Ginsburg.

The team also had to turn around event footage rapidly, as Activision wanted content from its NEXT showcase promoted in near real-time on social platforms. “All the content that was shot during the event had to be live and delivered within hours,” explains Ginsburg. “We had a whole production team set up where the content was captured, sent to our team here in L.A., edited and approved before it went live.”

Quantifiable Campaign Success

The collaboration between QYOU and Activision yielded over 10 social media posts with nearly 10 million combined views and 480,000 total engagements. The content drove a 5.3% engagement rate, twice the general benchmark for TikTok.

When the finished “Lobby” trailer debuted, SpencerX was brought to tears seeing himself on the big screen. “I will never stop talking about this,” he effused. 

Ginsburg on the Power of Storytelling

A key ingredient driving the campaign’s resonance was crafting an integrated storytelling arc. “Storytelling is just so important. Developing a cohesive narrative for your campaign and ensuring that story is told and told well is just so key, not only for the final product, but also in the distribution of the content,” says Ginsburg.

By empowering creators to inject authenticity while guiding an overarching narrative, QYOU struck an effective balance. “The storytelling component is often overlooked,” notes Ginsburg. “QYOU has had so much success for our partners between awards and successful campaigns, and so much of it is due to our ability to weave a narrative and create elevated content with creators.”

Commenting on larger social media trends, Ginsburg observes that leading creators are now helping shape pop culture rather than just responding to it. “For the longest time a lot of what creators did on social platforms was reflecting back what was happening in culture, and then translating it for audiences,” he says.

“But what I really find fascinating now is that we’re at that tipping point where creators are becoming the culture and we’re seeing traditional media reflecting back what they are finding from these creators and social platforms,” Ginsburg continues. “I think that trend is going to continue—that these social stars are going to just have more impact overall culturally.”

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene is the founder and managing director of Net Influencer, a website dedicated to offering insights into the influencer marketing industry. Together with its newsletter, Influencer Weekly, Net Influencer provides news, commentary, and analysis of the events shaping the creator and influencer marketing space. Through interviews with startups, influencers, brands, and platforms, Nii and his team explore how influencer marketing is being effectively used to benefit businesses and personal brands alike.

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