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Activision banks on mobile advertising for product launch

Video game publisher Activision is enlisting mobile advertising as part of a campaign to drum up awareness for the launch of its Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 game.

The campaign is running on Millennial Media?s platform and targets iOS and Android devices. Activision is also working with MEC Global on this campaign.

?We worked with Activision and MEC on a campaign around a previous Call of Duty launch, and they have constantly been on the cutting edge in terms of what they are doing with their creative,? said Gavin Stirrat, managing director of EMEA at Millennial Media, Baltimore.

?Last year, we integrated video, a store locator and social functions, and for this launch, they once again pushed the needle by using our new photo shoot rich media function,? he said.

Mobile engagement
The campaign is targeted at males aged 18-34 years old.

Activision is running both expandable banner ads and interstitial ads that feature a picture of a soldier from the game.

Animation in the ads shows smoke moving across the screen.

Activision is the first advertiser to use Millennial Media?s photo shoot rich media feature, which uses a mobile device?s built-in camera to give users an interactive, social experience.

Via the experience, consumers can snap a picture of themselves that is inserted onto the image. The image can then either be downloaded to the device or shared via social media sites.

Furthermore, an additional unit lets users tweet from an ad, which helps spread the word about the brand and new product.

Consumers can click through to a mobile site from both ads to learn more via video trailers and buy the game.

Engaged audience
This is not the first time that Activision has used mobile advertising to promote its Call of Duty franchise.

The company previously worked with Millennial Media and MEC Global in 2011 on a similar mobile ad campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The game generated more than $1 billion in revenue over 14 days at its launch, claiming to make it the biggest entertainment launch.

This type of campaign is a great way for Activision to help promote a new product.

Consumers constantly have their mobile devices on hand and are using them for everything from researching to buying products.

In particular, Activision?s target demographic of gamers are consistently plugged into their mobile devices.

In fact, Millennial?s latest Mobile Mix report found that gaming was the No. 1 app category for consumers (see story).

Advertisers are also increasingly relying on mobile advertising as a go-to channel for a product launch.

?The ad unit taps into the native camera function of the phone, and this is a feature that is uniquely mobile,? Mr. Stirrat said.

?Mobile provides advertisers with options that are simply not possible in other medium, and any time we can integrate interactive features like this, we?ve seen great consumer engagement,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York