Welcome back to our weekly recap featuring Panser of TradeChat, where we look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. This week's topics include:
Aubrey Plaza has made a name for herself in NBC's Parks and Recreation as the hilariously deadpan snarker April Ludgate. She channels that character in the latest Warcraft commercial recently posted by Blizzard, in which she tells the story of how her boyfriend disappointed her on her birthday with the gift of WoW.
I swear that is the truth, I actually twittered a few days ago that I'd love Amy Poehler to do a commercial spot for World of Warcraft. It looks like they got the next best thing -- one of her awesome coworkers. I just hope this commercial isn't Parks and Rec canon though, because April and Andy are the cutest couple.
The official Warcraft Twitter account has teased a new World of Warcraft advertisement that will be airing during the Bears vs. Chargers game on Sunday. While we do not know the content of the advertisement yet, we know that it will potentially involve a foot, a hunter, someone's face, and a new Warcraft master. In the past, WoW commercials have featured celebrities attesting to their in-game personas, spelling out the awesomeness of their abilities. Who will be the newest WoW spokesperson?
Not to be disrespectful to our European audiences, I've translated the post above for you below:
Europeans, you'll be able to watch a new WoW commercial that aired during an American Gridiron game on YouTube this Sunday.
From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.
Football fans, we love you and we do feel your rightful enthusiasm, but admit it: The TV commercials are the best part of every Super Bowl. Just a few short weeks or months after the game, most people don't remember much about the games themselves -- but I'll bet most of us remember the Doritos commercial where the unsuspecting corporate cube drone lobs a snowglobe into his boss's nads. That 2009 ad spot grabbed the #1 ad meter position away from Budweiser for the first time in 10 years. Its creators: two of the five Herbert brothers -- and yes, 15 Minutes of Fame regulars, you guessed it ... three of them play World of Warcraft.
Since the Doritos bonanza landed Joe Herbert and his brother Dave on Leno, The Today Show, and more, the duo has been hard at work turning out more hip commercials and a board game that's in stores now. The thing that caught our attention, though, was the fantastic cinematic Joe produced for the guild he and another brother lead, and the Warsong Band. Settle in for an enjoyable trip through the history of the Warsong Band, above, and then join us for a chat with Joe Herbert for Doritos, snowglobes, PvP, board games and more.
Look, it should come as no surprise that World of Warcraft is king of the hill, head of the list, cream of the crop, at the top of the heap when it comes to MMOs. Whatever Blizzard did, it did it at exactly the right time with the right team and the right IP; it was a perfect storm of something. And it did other game developers a favor in that it's now possible for an MMO to do respectable business, even if the numbers don't quite approach WoW's 12 million concurrent subscribers.
Naturally, though, there are studios that aren't content with having their own subscribers. They want WoW's, too. And that's a pretty tall order. To that end, they reference WoW in their ad campaigns. But what good does name-dropping the world's most popular MMO in your ad campaign even do? Let's take a look.
As if it weren't enough that we have to tolerate protection warrior dominance in PvP as the first sign of the impending apocalypse, we started getting tips about a somewhat...odd-looking Russian commercial two days ago featuring Evgeni Plushenko, an Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion. By now, YouTube's gotten in on the joke with the Related Videos sidebar as well.
Finished watching it? Yep -- what you're seeing above is a riff on Blizzard's Wrath of the Lich King trailer as envisioned by Oriflame, a cosmetics company advertising their Glacier Ice cologne. If they're not actually riffing on the trailer, then apparently their marketing department shares a hive mind with Blizzard's cinematics team, which may become troublesome around the time the latter starts storyboarding the Cataclysm trailer.
I am stricken by a sudden vision of Burma-Shave advertisements in Gilneas: This cooling shave / Will never fail / To stamp its user / Alpha male / Burma-Shave.
The Warcraft Mountain Dew Spec Commercial was Ian Beckman's entry into the BlizzCon 2009 machinima contest. According to Ian, he'd secretly hoped that the Mountain Dew folks would see the commercial and think "Holy crap! We love this idea! Let's make it a commercial!" That didn't happen, but the video's still pretty awesome.
It's pretty short, of course, but the style and lightheartedness of the commercial won me over. Two warriors are fighting in the war-torn fields of Azeroth. When they spot a Mountain Dew through the computer screen, they immediately launch themelves into the real world to win the soda for themselves.
The Warcraft Mountain Dew Spec Commercial is a little additionally ironic in the tableau of panels offered by BlizzCon. As Alex Zierbart pointed out, it was relatively rare for any of the Blizzard presenters to actually touch the Mountain Dews hanging out on the panel tables. Still, that doesn't impact my opinion of Ian's commercial, which was overall pretty fun to watch.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.
People have only been able to get their hands on the WoW themed Mountain Dew Game Fuel within the last couple of weeks (and is only officially supposed to be in stores today), despite the months of hype being thrown behind the product. Throwing more gasoline on the hype-fire comes the new Game Fuel commercial, which you can watch above. Watch it a few times, actually. You may need it to fully comprehend what you've just watched.
It's terrible. Nobody who actually plays WoW will find this commercial anything but corny. It's definitely not aimed at us. Or if it is, the people who made it probably... you know, shouldn't have been the ones to make it. And does it frighten anybody else that even though they used two females as the soda-swilling gamers, one of them turned into a dude? I mean, play whatever avatars you want in-game, but there's something disturbing about a pretty young lady hulking out and turning into a bulging green monstrosity. And I'm not talking She-Hulk. I'm talking a throbbing mass of masculine muscle. Augh. I'm not sure I want to let my girlfriend drink this stuff anymore.
It looks like celebrities are unofficially joining in on the parody commercials. Vic Mignogna, best known as the voice of Edward Elric on the anime series, Full Metal Alchemist, is the latest to participate.
Vic's inner WoW player turns out to be a warlock. He uses his theatrical voice and flare to present his story to the audience, even hinting at his ability to do alchemy. Now that this is out of the way, I can only hope that the Blizzard commercial spoof trend dies down. It's so three months ago!
In the video, he brings up the important topic of alts. Why should you have just one character when you can do it all? If I had the time to level all those alts, I'd be right there with you! Previously on Moviewatch...
Quite a few people wrote in to report that Blizzard's latest advertising campaign, featuring William Shatner and Mr. T, covers more than just the English-speaking audience. A Spanish language commercial, featuring actor Willy Toledo. And though you may not know the name, Paladins seem to approve of the commercial, which shows the Paladin as a melee class. An approximate translation:
Hi, my name is Willy Toledo... and I am a Paladin. I am a combination of a spell caster and a specialist in melee combat... up-close and personal, clearly what I like most. But this is serious, I´m a protector of the Holy Light. I am Willy Toledo, and I'm a Paladin. And you? What's your game?
As a note, the "melee combat" mention above translates more directly as "body-to-body" combat -- so now we all know that this commercial is only a Blessing of Protection joke away from Illegal Danish 2.
As I am the proud owner of a TiVo, I have a tendency to fast forward through all commercial interruptions. However, this scene from the movie Office Space caught my eye -- after all, it's not a new movie by any means, so what could it be advertising? Imagine my surprise when I went back to watch it and found it to be a World of Warcraft commercial!