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WoW Archivist: WoW's craziest TV ads

A WoW ad from China
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Nefarian swallows a truck.

Two women duke it out in a supermarket.

A trio of singers shouts, "No means no!"

Mr. T introduces a new race and Chuck Norris roundhouse-kicks a kodo.

Those responsible for advertising World of Warcraft have hit on some crazy ideas.

This week, Blizzard debuted its first TV ads for Mists of Pandaria. As I'm writing this, I've just watched them air live on Monday Night Football. That's a big-time slot for a commercial here in the States and runs a cool $325,000 per nationally televised spot. The ads feature clips from the official trailer. If only the Bengals had put up as much of a fight as that panda.

But not all of WoW's commercials through the years have been quite so ... straightforward. Let's take a look!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Is comparing your game to World of Warcraft really such a good idea?

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Mr. T promotes the Mohawk Grenade


Not only is the Mohawk Grenade real and in-game, but Mr. T put it there. That's what we learn in this new commercial, a sequel of sorts to the old "Night Elf Mohawk" joke a long while back. Not only is T (not The T, just T) decked out in a Murloco's Taco's T-shirt, but he shows the in-game item in action. It's how he makes the World of Warcraft look good.

I love it -- well done, Blizzard. Great kickoff to the holiday marketing season, and it's awesome that they've got the commercial (which we assume you'll soon see on television) promoting the actual in-game item in a quality way. Sure, The Old Republic and a few other MMOs might be knocking on WoW's door, but who wouldn't want to play a game where you can throw a grenade and make people look like Mr. T? Maybe this is where all those newbies will be coming from.





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Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Ozzy Osbourne and Steve Van Sandt in two new TV commercials


Blizzard has put together two new TV spots for the holiday season. The first, seen above, features Steven van Zandt (better known as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, but also a real-life performer in Bruce Springsteen's band) spouting an old Godfather III reference (that a lot of returning fans are probably saying to themselves after re-entering Warcraft for level 80).

And the second (definitely the more hilarious one) features Ozzy Osbourne as an Undead Warlock having it out with the Lich King over just who's WoW's Prince of Darkness. It's embedded after the break, definitely a must-see. Blizzard's doing terrific already -- their games are setting records, and subscriptions are higher than ever. But it doesn't look like they're taking this holiday season lying down at all.

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Filed under: Warlock, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Verne Troyer is a Gnome Mage; no one is surprised

Back when Blizzard released the new World of Warcraft ads featuring Mr. T and William Shatner, it also announced that a Verne Troyer ad was forthcoming. It's finally here, and it turns out that, like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mini-Me is a Mage!

If you liked the first two English-language WoW TV spots, you'll like this one, though I don't think it's quite as exciting because we all knew what was coming; he's a Gnome. What a surprise! It's still awesome and you should all check it out. I don't need to tell you that, though, do I?

I'm still holding out for The Hoff. What class would he be, I wonder? And if they could get Schwarzenegger, they'd have to create a Governator class. Hey, they already made a Mohawk class for Mr. T. Okay, this is getting silly and I'm getting carried away!

[Thanks, Chris!]

Filed under: Gnomes, Mage, Blizzard, News items, Humor

WoW Moviewatch: I am a Paladin


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.

Previously on Moviewatch...

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Filed under: Paladin, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

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