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Marketing Case Study: Anthem By: Nathan Winnie

The new video game is set to release on February 22nd and has many gamers excited to drop into the multiplayer action role-playing co-op game. Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, (insert micro transaction joke here) the game first debuted a few weeks ago with a free to play/download demo. You and 3 friends could team up to complete a few missions and get a feel for the game.

Releasing a demo has become common in the game industry as it is a way for developers and publishers to work out any final kinks before the world launch. After playing for a weekend with my friends I can confidently say that I’m excited for the game but what the Anthem Marketing Team did next had me really excited.

This week Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9 and Elysium, released a short film on YouTube called “Conviction”. This short film is set in the world of Anthem and is designed to be a live-action trailer for the video game.

If you’re like me and played the demo a few weeks ago, this live-action trailer made me put an event in my calendar called “The Anthem Release Date”. It’s like if Iron Man met Halo and Destiny. COME ON!!!

If you didn’t have the chance to play the demo, this short film is designed to tell the audience the story of Anthem. The story follows a few pilots who find a girl in the forest. The girl seems to have a strange power and it’s not exactly clear what this means.

The mystery and confusion is designed to create curiosity around the game. Maybe players will find this mysterious girl in-game, maybe they will have to battle against her.  

The big takeaway from this is the fact that the video game industry is incredibly competitive (see: Battlefield, Call of Duty, Fortnite) and Anthem is a new game title making noise. In the video game industry you really have 1 shot to make a good first impression. You can do everything perfect leading up to launch, but if servers fail, multiplayer is laggy, and friends can't join sessions all of this marketing will be for nothing.

If you’re a brand looking to debut a new product or start a new service, consider using a video to tell a short story. The story should create curiosity and excitement just like the Anthem Live-Action Trailer.

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