TBWA’s Modern Warfare 2 Campaign May Have Been too Racy

By Matt Van Hoven 

This week we’ve been chasing down information regarding TBWA\Chiat\Day’s campaign work for Infinity Ward and Activision-Blizzard’s latest game title, Modern Warfare 2 &#151 which, according to some predictions, could be the highest grossing entertainment release of all time. That means it would be bigger than Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Dark Knight. Word on the street is last Monday, Activision-Blizzard (the game’s publisher) pulled the plug on Chiat’s campaign, calling it too racy, graphic.

Various sources have confirmed the same story, both noting that an outside agency has been called in to cut together some in-game clips for the national campaign that will effectively replace Chiat’s. That shop: LA based Ant Farm, we’re told.

The game launches next Tuesday, November 10, and according to GameStop has the most pre-orders of any game, ever. Activision is predictably giddy as well, with Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick reiterating that it could outsell all other entertainment titles before it.

So the question arises: what kind of campaign is needed. Considering this is a holiday game, we’re presuming many pre-teens will be asking for it as gifts. That means their parents probably won’t but it if all they see are gory ads.

Even still, as recently as this summer, Acti-Blizzard (nickname) CEO Brad Jakeman was all about the agency’s work &#151 which was handed to TBWA after a review including Razorfish and Droga5. Per AdAge: “We believe the idea that TBWA presented to us delivers on that goal,” said Mr. Jakeman. “What we liked most about the TBWA campaign is that it’s an idea that’s big enough to be articulated in lots of different kind of media … that is always the acid test for a great idea.”

Well, not anymore. There’s no verdict on exactly what lead up to Acti-Blizzard cutting the work. They have yet to respond, and from what we hear Chiat has moved on from taking our calls to calling us mean names. We miss you Chiat, can’t we make amends?

The Martin Agency produced the work you’ve already seen (video after the jump). It targets gamers old and young by pulling on the trash talking heart-strings of humorously immature kidults who will gladly drop $60 for a taste of modern carnage.

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