Call Of Duty Black Ops 3’s Story Trailer/Dumb Marketing

As far as marketing stunts go, Activision’s Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 [official site] flurry on Twitter through the week was, how shall I put it, not very well thought out. Live-tweeting a fake-but-pretending-to-be-real crisis will turn heads, but what happened to simply showing off a trailer or dropping some screens? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. RPS: serving you, minus the hysteria.

On Tuesday, the official Call Of Duty Twitter feed temporarily rebranded itself the ‘Current Events Agg.’ and proceeded to live-tweet a fictional conflict, as if it were actual, real-life breaking news. It looked something like this:

Sections of the social media universe weren’t too pleased. Probably because at best, it was a bit crass, but at worst, there was genuine scope to alarm – given the feed’s display picture, header image and new found title stood alongside a verified blue tick. A couple of hours later it was business as usual, as the feed tweeted this:

Anyway, all of that rabble aside, Activision has released a new story trailer ahead of Black Ops 3’s November 6 launch date. The publisher’s CEO Eric Hirshberg reckons the game’s campaign is going to “mess with your mind”. Whilst I can’t be sure of that – unless the publisher decides to actually engage an actual country in actual warfare as part of their next marketting stunt – the trailer does like awful pretty nonetheless.

Take a look for yourself:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 is set for release on November 6.


  1. Kollega says:

    Holy shit. This trailer looks like Rob Liefeld’s wet dream.

  2. NephilimNexus says:

    CurrentEventsAgg@CallofDuty: “A large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grovers Mills, New Jersey.”

  3. SuicideKing says:

    Given that an Arma 2 video was mistaken for IRA propaganda, and combined with the AssCreed idiocy, I have to conclude that marketing departments are very, very stupid and insensitive. In fact, I’ve been of this opinion for a while, but I didn’t want to generalize. No, they’re all the same.

    • Grizzly says:

      It should be mentioned that the Arma 2 footage is not from a trailer but rather from some video’s one of the many groups that play the game put up on youtube. Arma 2’s case was not marketing but propagandists being *really* desperate.

      A similar case to Arma 2 would be something like this.

  4. Darth Gangrel says:

    Marketing people doing what they do best/worst, but whatever as long as the game gets publicity.

    • Gnoupi says:

      And look at that, a post on a gaming news site. Looks like it worked.

      Besides, if people are too stupid to read the twitter handle just under the message, or you know, cross reference information, check facts, etc, maybe they’re the ones to blame. But that’s another debate entirely.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Or people mistaking tweets on a short message service for news in general. Being mid-thirty none of my friends or relatives even has an account and I tend to stop reading articles (on news sites) when the service is mentioned as a source. Of course it’s an ideal vector for PR appartments and “media” guys but I’m not running filters on ads to read up on them later on, right?

    • Blastaz says:

      Marketing people marketing their game. What’s the problem?

      And looking at those tweets they weren’t really using any other hashtags than for blops, so it’s not like anyone who isn’t already following cod is going to stumble across it by accident…

    • astronaute says:

      Exactly, I think they are very clever, look everyone is talking about :)

  5. GernauMorat says:

    Dumb thing is dumb shock. (this also applies to the AssCred thing)

  6. Pulstar says:

    Idiocracy’s been here for decades now.

  7. lglethal says:

    To quote the late great Bill Hicks:
    “By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they’ll take root. I don’t know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan’s little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously. You’re the ruiner of all things good. Seriously, no, this is not a joke. “There’s gonna be a joke coming…” There’s no fucking joke coming, you are Satan’s spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourselves, it’s the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show.

    “You know what Bill’s doing now, he’s going for the righteous indignation dollar, that’s a big dollar, a lot of people are feeling that indignation, we’ve done research, huge market. He’s doing a good thing.” Godammit, I’m not doing that, you scumbags, quit putting a godamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!”

  8. Wulfram says:

    Sections of the social media “aren’t too pleased” about everything.

  9. plugav says:

    I was immediately reminded of this sketch about Black Ops 2: link to

  10. Pantsman says:

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (CoDBlOps3Dehr)

  11. Maxheadroom says:

    I don’t mind CoD games, they’re enjoyable man-shooters with fun man shooter mechanics. The life cycle of them is just too short

    this could be the best multiplayer fps ever but it wont matter because it’ll b obsolete in 10 months when the hype train ramps up for the next one.

    I guess you could argue ‘when do you ever play 1 particular game for more than 10 months?” but 8 years on and TF2 is still on my hard drive.

  12. Turkey says:

    That trailer is hilarious.

    It’s like they tried to emulate a modern movie trailer, but completely failed to convey the sense of a story arc. So it’s just a bunch of random VO’s trying to sound gravely and then a totally unearned crescendo at the end.

    • thetruegentleman says:

      Hey, it’s hard to make a coherent plot out of a string of individual levels with no connection to each other: the end result of making unique level design the only goal, game after game.

  13. Tasloi says:

    A far better marketing idea than the AC: Syndicate search engine. Thumbs up.

  14. Carlos Danger says:

    I am more offended by the same stupid story again. A secret organization that has a super-secret organization within it that must be fought. Boy that is an original one and hasn’t been done in every movie about secret organizations for the last 15 years.

    Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

  15. NephilimNexus says:

    After watching the trailer I must say that I’m really looking forward to the next DeuxEx game. That is what they’re advertising, right?

  16. Cortes says:

    Call of Duty Black Ops 3 will be definitely great game but now I wait much more on another FPS – Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3. Honestly I will be play in both of it, first will comes out CoD, then SGW :) I can’t wait for this games.