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Activision's Call of Duty franchise is putting its stamp on video-game advertising by rethinking one of the oldest tricks in the book—the celebrity endorsement.
Normally, if you're a big enough star, you have little choice but to play yourself in ads. But the fluid nature of identity in gaming offers some wiggle room. Celebrities can play characters in a gaming spot, and it doesn't seem forced or weird—in fact, it's strangely thrilling. In the gaming universe, they, like us, are both player and character simultaneously—themselves, yet not themselves.