The army wanted to spend millions on Call of Duty, IGN for Gen Z

A Call of Duty: Modern Warfare loading screen shows White Phosphorus as a killstreak.

picture: activity

Those of the US Army Gamer to Soldier Pipeline is hardly a secret at this point, but new documents reveal his recent, detailed plans to spend millions to recruit Gen Z through gaming-related sponsorships and advertising campaigns. The partnerships ranged from call of Duty Twitch streamers contribute to content sponsorship IGN and G4with the aim of familiarizing the audience with the “values ​​of the army” and strengthening their image among young people.

The plans were detailed in internal army documents sourced and published by Vice‘s motherboard by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Thursday and they include a breakdown of projected marketing spend for 2022. $675,000 was proposed for WWE in June, $750,000 for WWE Call of Duty League and Outstanding gloriole tv showand $300,000 listed for call of Duty Esports team, OpTic Chicago.

The idea, apparently, was to capitalize on the popularity of call of Dutythe all-time best-selling shooter filmed before War Crimes in Killstreaks and violent geopolitics into bombastic playgroundsto spread awareness of “Army Values ​​and Opportunities”. Also, one of the success metrics for partnering with Twitch streamers and media companies was increasing their popularity among survey respondents, particularly among women and Black and Hispanic people.

A presentation slide shows the Army's esports and gaming marketing plans.

screenshot: US Army / Kotaku

In particular, some previous sponsorship money for the call of Duty league was already revoked in 2021, shortly after Activision Blizzard was sued by California regulators over allegations of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. A month after the lawsuit was filed and media reports of issues at the publisher’s workplace began to pour in, the Army’s Deputy Chief Marketing Officer, Ignatios Mavridis, announced internal plans to “immediately cease all activities with Activision” following the “serious allegations,” according to an email attached to the marketing materials.

A copy of a work stoppage order to DDB Chicago, Inc, charged with marketing, detailing a Call of Duty League sponsorship that cost $1.1 million and a YouTube media purchase from Activision that cost $170,000. Mavridis also suggested the Army not to send their esports team to participate in an upcoming one call of Duty Competition.

The US Army Twitch debacle

This isn’t the first time the US Army has tried to gain a foothold with younger Americans on Amazon’s streaming platform. The Army esports team used to have its own Twitch channel but eventually left the platform after being harassed by viewers for alleged war crimes and fake giveaways.

Continue reading: Amid the backlash, the US Army is withdrawing from Twitch

But the Army’s marketing plans extended to Twitch and some gaming media companies. It has been proposed to spend $1 million on the streaming platform’s HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Showdown Esports League. The documents also point to discussions with Big call of Duty Streamers David “Stonemountain64” Steinberg, Kris “FaZe Swagg” Lamberson, and Alex Zedra.

If you watched IGN‘s Reporting on the Summer Game Fest or Summer of Gaming showcase already in June You may have noticed frequent ads for the army. While we don’t know how much the Army actually spent, the new documents suggest $600,000 for the world’s largest English-language gaming site and $500,000 for G4, the recently revived and then shut down gaming network.

A presentation slide shows the Army's marketing plans for gaming sites such as IGN and G4.

screenshot: US Army / Kotaku

while a few IGN Viewers were critical of the site’s army partnership, two former G4 employees previously said kotaku that their own sponsorship caused a lot of frustration internally. “Their response to the resistance was that they understood that G4 staff were broadly liberal, but they didn’t want to alienate right-wing viewers in any way,” said a former staffer.

Another described a tense meeting with G4 leaders over the summer where the issue was raised. Joe Marsh, G4’s last boss before it was all summarily fired by press release in October, apparently responded by saying that the network was unable to decline sponsorship. “The audience audibly grumbled and was disgusted,” the person said. Some may take it as evidence of that Ways G4 was mismanaged that a historically irreverent voice in the gaming world had become so dependent on US military funds in the first place.

“Army Marketing’s sponsorship goal is similar to all of our promotional purchases, which is to reach a specific market in support of Army recruitment,” said an Army spokesman motherboard in an opinion. “Ad recall and preference are important as they are both industry-recognized metrics for the effectiveness of the advertising and sponsorships we purchase. In army marketing we have to meet the youth where they are and that is online.” The army wanted to spend millions on Call of Duty, IGN for Gen Z

Curtis Crabtree

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