Last time we checked in with the freemium mobile game Game of War: Fire Age, they were reaping the benefits of creating a pretty brilliant ad campaign featuring supermodel Kate Upton. The game itself was nothing special, but the $40 million ad campaign transcended it. It got people playing and in turn made the mobile game company, Machine Zone, rake in over a reported $1 million a day via advertising.
Well, there’s a changing of the guards of sorts, as singer Mariah Carey will be replacing Upton as the face of the game. TMZ is reporting that Machine Zone reached a seven-figure deal with Carey to appear in a 30-second spot, that will allow the company to use her music in future promotions as well. They’ve also upped the ante, and hired director Alan Taylor - who’s credits include Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Terminator Genisys - to shoot the spot. It’s going to be a bonkers 30 seconds.
All in all, it’s an interesting move for the company.
Kate Upton is arguably the biggest supermodel in the world right now. The 45-year-old Carey certainly isn’t in the limelight of her career. She’s currently in the midst of a Las Vegas residency, which is lucrative, but doesn’t really show her appeal to the current generation of music fans. I don’t know if Game of War’s target audience of teenage boys would even know who Carey is - although she brings plenty of sex appeal. She also has over 15 million followers on Twitter, tens of millions more than Upton, so perhaps part of her arrangement would have her leverage her huge following and promote the game on her social platforms.
On the flip side, reaching a deal means the company has access to her music and that’s huge - they’ll certainly take full advantage of that. Admittedly, I’m not sure how songs like “We Belong Together,” will be showcased in an fantasy MMO game, but these folks know how to make a successful spot, so I’m sure if anybody can it, it’s them.
The move will allow Upton to focus on modelling and continue her acting career. Forbes listed her as the fifth highest paid model in the world in 2014, earning a reported $7 million last year. Endorsement opportunities will continue to come in for the 23-year-old bombshell. She starred in the hit movie The Other Woman, opposite Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, which turned out to be a box-office smash raking in almost $200 million against a $40 million budget. She’s set to start in William H. Macy’s upcoming sex comedy film Layover opposite True Detective’s Alex Daddario. While she’s not the most talented actress on the planet, she certainly is proving she’s a legitimate box office draw.
It’s a massive gamble by the company to replace the face which put the company on the map. If this fails, it may be hard for the company recover. I don’t remember a game where their success was driven exclusively by such a prominent advertising campaign opposed to excitement over the gameplay. I can’t wait to see how these changes unfold.