Video game giant Activision—maker of such top titles as Call of Duty, Destiny and Skylanders—is in the process of reviewing its creative advertising account, according to three parties with direct knowledge of the matter.
A spokesperson for incumbent 72andSunny, which has served as Activision’s agency of record since 2012 after working with the client on a project basis, confirmed that it is defending but declined to elaborate. Activision has not responded to multiple queries regarding the review.
Adweek’s sources claim the process has been ongoing for several weeks and that some agencies have already been eliminated, though Wieden+Kennedy and 72andSunny remain in the running. A spokesperson for the former shop declined to comment.
The Santa Monica company has been a subsidiary of the larger Activision Blizzard since a 2008 merger with French media conglomerate Vivendi and ranked as the world’s third largest game publisher by revenue as of 2016. It plans to unveil its new gaming lineup at next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, including sequels to the popular Call of Duty: Black Ops, Destiny, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot series.
In 2017, Activision Blizzard concluded a global media agency review by retaining OMD and MEC to handle its media planning and buying work in the U.S. and abroad, respectively. This week also brought news that the company selected space150 as its social media agency of record following a review launched last fall.
During its long tenure with the client, 72andSunny has crafted live action ads for popular franchises that often resemble film trailers in style and scope, set to immediately recognizable pop music. Last year’s “New Legends Will Rise” spot for Destiny 2, for example, was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and licensed The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” The agency introduced the Destiny franchise with a spot directed by Joseph Kosinski that featured voice acting by Peter Dinklage and music from Led Zeppelin. A 2016 ad for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare starring Michael Phelps and Danny McBride featured the Guns ‘n’ Roses classic “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Beyond 72andSunny, Activision also works with Los Angeles agency gnet on marketing campaigns for its games. The company spent just under $70 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.