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A Look At Halo 3's $10 Million Ad Campaign 62

Via Next Generation, a post on the Brand Week website that goes into some detail on the massive advertising campaign for Halo 3 orchestrated by Microsoft and the McCann-Erickson group. "The goal of the campaign is to bring Halo fans and nonfans up-to-speed as to where we are in Master Chief's epic battle to defeat the evil Covenant. While most major game titles begin their ad campaigns weeks before launch to build buzz, Halo 3 differs greatly. This mass-market push is actually the end of the of Halo 3 campaign. The TV push is the grand finale of a five-pronged attack Microsoft quietly launched last December. The carefully orchestrated onslaught was designed to make casual fans interested and core fans rabid as Microsoft aims to eclipse Halo 2's record-breaking $125 million in sales on day one. To date, Halo 3 is already on the books for one million preorders and counting. "
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A Look At Halo 3's $10 Million Ad Campaign

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  • Redundant. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:25PM (#20577621)
    A $10m ad campaign for Halo 3?

    Isn't that like having a multi-million dollar campaign to let everyone know the sky is blue?
    • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:34PM (#20577775) Journal
      What is this 'Halo'?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by king-manic ( 409855 )
      A $10m ad campaign for Halo 3?

      Isn't that like having a multi-million dollar campaign to let everyone know the sky is blue?


      You know the Apple switcher ads? My thoughts on them are that they aren't to entice people to come to apple as they are so ridiculously silly as anyone who would switch would likely return the box because it didn't come with windows. The ads however comically play to What Apples user base already thinks. It re-enforces brand value in the people who already reside in the apple camp. So it
      • I think only the more technical PC users feel like they're getting a cheap shot with those switcher ads. There are plenty of PC users that aren't emotionally attached to their computer, and find the ads funny. I grew up with PC's, and bought a new Mac last year. The amount of misinformation that circulates unchallenged among PC users about Macs is astonishing.
        No software, they're slow, they suck, no games, too expensive, waste of money, etc. The iPod and iPhone are helping rebuild Apple's image and the
      • You know the Apple switcher ads? My thoughts on them are that they aren't to entice people to come to apple as they are so ridiculously silly as anyone who would switch would likely return the box because it didn't come with windows. The ads however comically play to What Apples user base already thinks. It re-enforces brand value in the people who already reside in the apple camp. So its not a ad campaign seeking new customers but re-enforcing value in current customers. Ditto with the Halo 3 ad campaign. It re-enforces the value of peoples purchase. Saying "hey you bought a winner."

        I think your analysis of the Apple ads is spot on, and it explains the phenomina that Apple users seem to think the ads are brilliant, but other generally not as much (ranging anywhere from "kinda funny" down to "I HATE THEM").

        But if that is the strategy of the Halo 3 ads, then it it hugely misplaced. Apple has a customer base that is going to need more computers in the future, but who on earth would need multiple copies of Halo 3?

        I think it is far more likely that MS knows where the money is coming f

    • How can the first comment posted be moderated as redundant?

      "Flaimbait"? Sure. The first posts often are.

      "Off Topic"? That's often the case.

      "Redundant"? Impossible.

      The subject is "Redundant.", so I guess someone was using a mod point to try to make a joke?

      • Some people (not me, I'm just speaking generally) take a broader conception of "redundant" and apply it to any overdone, overcliched kind of post about an issue. For example, saying, "Gee, not so final, is it?" on a story about the lastest installment in the Final Fantasy, would be considered "redundant" by some, even if it's the very first post. Why? Because it doesn't offer anything new that you haven't heard already.

        Then again, maybe that time you just referenced, it was just a vindictive mod.
    • And how much did /. get out of that budget? I mean that is two halo 3 stories today..... *ducks*
  • Halo 3 (Score:4, Funny)

    by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:27PM (#20577653) Journal
    Playing this game will fix dead Xbox 360s.
  • How much was Bioshock's advertising campaign?
    How much advertising did they get?

    • I don't know, but inside the my local brick & mortar store there was a 7 foot tall Big Daddy. I don't what it cost, but it's awesomeness surely pushed many people to at the very least ask about the game, and probably many to go ahead and buy.
    • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:47PM (#20577991)

      How much was Bioshock's advertising campaign?
      Clearly not enough to get a story about how much advertising they spent.
  • don't say "defeat the evil Covenant."
    for the 5 other people who may be following the story, ITS NOT THE COVENANT WHO ARE BAD NOW
    come on, "evil" is rarely the case in stories meant for people over the age of 5
    • Take any technology story and you will see the terms 'evil' and 'good' bandied about as if they had any actual meaning in a discussion of technology.

      So are you saying that Slashdot is inhabited by 5 year-olds now? That seems a bit harsh. Usually it is best to cloak those sorts of remarks in more erudite terms and lace your posts with enough sarcasm such that they get modded funny. :)
    • For those of us who follow the story, shut up. The Covenant are still bad. The Elites and Hunters left the Covenant.

      Yes, I realize how geeky I am.
  • Force multiplier (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:36PM (#20577809) Homepage
    One of the best things about a $10 million ad campaign is that you can get news agencies/blogs/teh intarweb to discuss the advertising campaign itself, which is automatically advertising for the product the ad campaign is promoting that doesn't come out of that $10 million.

    Advertisers are sort of like Satan. I hate them for their unmitigated evil, but I do sometimes have to admire their savvy.
    • Advertisers are sort of like Satan. I hate them for their unmitigated evil, but I do sometimes have to admire their savvy.

      I have a guilty pleasure of studying advertising. I equate it to studying infosec attack methods. I'm not inclined to be involved in hacking random public targets (whether that target is a system or human nature) in such a manner. But I do find the techniques fascinating. And it helps to understand some aspects of the world around me - and protect myself from said techniques.

    • How do you know that the news agencies talking about the $10 million campaign isn't part of the $10 million for the campaign, as a sort of meta-campaign? It costs money having people call up news agencies and say "Hey guys, we're spending a ton of money on this campaign! Give us a story and we'll put rent some ad space with it!"
  • A Look At Halo 3's $10 Million Ad Campaign


    And Slashdotters care because they are marketing geeks?

    Or is this kind of an in-joke among the editors: Microsoft's spending $10M to promote interest in Halo3 so we'll give them free press on a mostly anti-Microsoft site too! (Heh-heh-heh...)

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And Slashdotters care because they are marketing geeks?

      There are four types of people on slashdot when it comes to this issue. The first are people who are indifferent to the Halo franchise (you appear to be one of these). This group tends not to post in these discussions because it doesn't really interest them. When they do post asking questions such as you did, a flamewar generally ensues that has nothing to do with Halo.

      The second and third types are people who are rabid fans of Halo and will defend
      • The first are people who are indifferent to the Halo franchise

        You forgot the category into which I fall, which is "Still disappointed at Bungie for defecting to Microsoft."

  • 10 million profit? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:43PM (#20577923) Journal
    How much are you expecting to make back if you spend this much on advertising?

    All Halo 3 needed was a trailer every couple of months, a place holder website and to let magazine/online previewers play "demos" of areas every so often and it would still sell as well as it will now. It's like advertising toilet paper when you're the only people on Earth who makes it, why would you spend good money on such stupidity?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by archen ( 447353 )
      Simply put, because it's an exclusive for a console. There isn't much to really discuss if it's on all consoles. Even if it's on one first, many if not MOST people have the patience to wait for a while. But it's different with an exclusive and a huge franchise one at that. The more you can get people hyped about it and talking and excited, the more buzz is generated around the console. Maybe those who got a PS3 are thinking that they'd like to play that awesome Halo game too. Perhaps thinking about bu
    • It's like advertising toilet paper when you're the only people on Earth who makes it, why would you spend good money on such stupidity?

      What is all this banter? Where was all this naysaying when there was big advertisements for the iPhone, The Wii or Gears of War?

      And just as a side note: Coca Cola is one of the largest spenders of advertisement dollars on a single product. Coca Cola is far far better known compared to any video game ever. Coca Cola also turns a pretty hefty profit.

      Come back and question
    • It's like advertising toilet paper when you're the only people on Earth who makes it, why would you spend good money on such stupidity?
      Microsoft makes toilet paper under the brand "Windows".
    • by d0rp ( 888607 )
      This is why I often wonder why the local power company (PNM in my case) bothers to advertise (they put up billboards and run television commercials), its not like there is anyone that they are competing against, and unless your Amish, you're probably going to need power (and there aren't many Amish in New Mexico).
      • In the case of PNM, they probably need the advertising to bring people back from the edge before blowing up their building downtown due to customer service issues. :-)
    • by Kwirl ( 877607 )
      Look at it from another point. While people KNOW about Halo 3, what they are attempting to do is create 'excitement' about the title. This excitement will increase the number of people who rush out to buy the game on the first day of release. Microsoft has 60,827,000,000 shares of stock currently, so a 25 cent per share increase due to an amazing day of sales means an increase in net worth of 60,826,999,975. I'm no financial expert, but a few minutes of stock research via wikipedia and google finance wi
  • I'm an European person and I have never seen any sign of advertisement. Are we really not that important?
    • You guys used to rule the world, but you killed off much of your "importance" with WWI, and finished yourselves off with WWII. Hey, it happens.
  • Math time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Plocmstart ( 718110 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @04:02PM (#20578237)
    $10 million ad campaign... 1 million preorders... so roughly $10 of your $60 preorder goes to advertise what you're already buying. They should have skipped the advertising and lowered the price.
    • But with out advertising they ould have only sold 500,000 copies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ajanp ( 1083247 )
      If you wanna turn it into a little more fuzzy math, then you can consider that they are likely going to sell more than just the pre-orders on Day 1 alone bringing a one day total close to, if not greater than, the previous high of $125 million in sales in a single day.

      Not to mention this game is practically a part of pop-culture at this point (CMN.. it's been on /. like five or six times already)... point being that the sales are going to continue being strong even after the first day... atleast enough to

  • I haven't seen a single commercial on TV ...hope they kept their receipt.
  • I think Microsoft is deluding itself if it thinks any amount of marketing will make casual gamers ask themselves, "Hmm... do I want to play Cooking Mama, or Halo 3?"
  • They have a radio commercial for Halo 3 that ties into some 7-11 slurpee flavor. The announcer talks about you giving strength to Master Chief, then asking where you get your strength. This is followed by a sound effect that is probably intended to be a person trying to suck the last of a slurpee out of a cup, but instead sounds like a long, liquid fart.

    I laugh every time. However, I definitely remember the commercial and products, though perhaps not in the way they wanted...

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