On October 25, 2019 Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-series released more than 10 years ago. As it was a fan-favorite with a serious following, we were tasked with the additional challenge of advertising for this beloved game both with honor in respect to its die-hard fans and as a call-to-action to those who weren’t yet to join in on the journey.


Taking a two-pronged approach, we focused mainly on driving awareness and secondarily on conversions. Before the release of the game, we leveraged main video partners across paid social, search, programmatic, TV, and direct buys to capture qualified attention and achieve stature. After release, we shifted our focus on intent and driving retail conversions.


On Search and Social, we started off ensuring our hard-working media (those best performing to drive our objectives, whether that be video views, clicks, conversions, etc.) were covered off, then branched out to media that were engaging. Those included alpha products and first-to-market or first-to-Activision opportunities such as Google search video ads, YouTube vertical videos, Snapchat package combination (i.e. Commercials, Snap Ads, Snap Ads in Discover), Twitter NFL/NBA pre-roll ads, NFL Promoted Moments sponsorship, and Spotlight Trend.

Across social channels, we’ve leveraged Actvision’s first-party data (CRM) to target the most relevant audiences with its respective ads. We also reached audiences similar to CRM, retargeted past video viewers, lookalikes of video viewers, and relevant gaming interests such as Call of Duty fans to stay top-of-mind. As a conversion tactic, we opened up sales to third-party stores such as Gamestop, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc. This ensured high visibility across retailers.


  • Sales top $600 million in first 3 days
  • Sold more units in the first three days than any other Call of Duty three day opening in this console generation
  • Established a new record as the #1 top-selling digital opening in Activision history
  • Set PS4 record with highest digital sales in first three days
  • Top-Selling new premium (ie. $60) game release of 2019
  • Biggest Call of Duty PC launch ever
  • Won Best Audio Design at the 2019 Game Awards
  • Won Best Online Multiplayer in 2019 Game Critics Awards
  • Won Original Score for a video game at the 2019 Hollywood Music in Media Awards
  • The first 50 days after launch, Modern Warfare has more hours played and the highest daily average players than any other Call of Duty on Xbox One or PlayStation 4
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