An upcoming series of British TV ads for Microsoft's recently released Gears of War 3
will try to create a herd behavior effect
in viewers by showing them live player statistics for the game.
The 30 second spots will run between September 23 and October 3, according to a report from Marketing Magazine
, and display the number of Gears 3
players online at the very moment the ad is broadcast.
Similar live ads from British gambling companies have shown instant odds during sporting events, though Microsoft says this is the first time such live information has been used in a TV spot for a video game.
"This is going to be our biggest controller-based game campaign," Xbox UK marketing director Stephen McGill told Marketing Magazine. "It is on the scale of what we did for Halo Reach
and Halo 3
– television is the main centerpiece of the campaign."
The TV campaign will also be supported by an online component, where fans can check in to a Facebook page to trigger explosions that will create a graffiti mural of the game's characters, which will be viewable on the game's web site.
Microsoft said the third game in the Gears of War
trilogy attracted over 1.3 million pre-orders
before its release this week. Critics gave the game generally high marks
, saying the shooting action makes up for a somewhat weak plot and writing.