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How Activision generated hype for Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 through TikTok

June 14, 2023 | 5 min read

The campaign won in the Social Media category at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.

Activision generated hype for its new Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 game with an engaging TikTok challenge

Activision generated hype for Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 with an engaging TikTok challenge

Gaming giant Activision set out on a mission to engage gamers worldwide and fan the flames of fan excitement for the highly anticipated release of Call of Duty Warzone 2.0. To do so, the brand launched a high-energy TikTok campaign, harnessing the platform’s vast user base and viral potential – to great success.

The Idea

Activision faced the challenge of expanding its reach and creating buzz for Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 on a global scale.

To cut through the noise and achieve its goals, the brand aimed to leverage the power of TikTok to build anticipation and excitement for the game’s launch, captivating a wide audience of gaming enthusiasts. Activision also hoped to engage top creators on TikTo to create buzz and foster a sense of community among fans.

The Strategy

Activision partnered with media and digital entertainment company QYou to bring the idea to life.

The strategy encompassed several key elements. Firstly, the brand debuted its #CODSquadUp TikTok challenge, which served as the centerpiece of the campaign. This challenge invited users to showcase their wildest ‘squad up’ moments, utilizing the campaign’s anthem, an original track titled Drop In, created by viral TikTok DJ Sickick.

The challenge format was deliberately kept simple, offering creators the freedom to interpret and express their ‘squad up’ moments creatively. The approach allowed for countless possibilities, which Activision believed would reflect the expansiveness and inclusivity of Call of Duty Warzone 2.0.

To get more out of the concept, Activision teamed up with 17 of the platform’s top creators, each boasting a significant following, spanning communities and interests, such as music, gaming, lifestyle and dance. Notable names include Brent Rivera, Joe Mele, Michael Le, The Jabbawockeez and Hype House. Their involvement ignited a movement that dominated users’ TikTok feeds, generating major interest and participation in the campaign.

The Results

The #CODSquadUp campaign on TikTok surpassed expectations and effectively engaged the target audience.

The campaign reached over 196 million subscribers through 17 creator posts, blowing past the target benchmark by 163%. All in all, the creator videos garnered an impressive 20.5m views. Plus, the campaign’s engagement rate surpassed targets by 2.3 times, showcasing the concept’s effectiveness in capturing and retaining user attention. Click-through rates also outperformed benchmarks by 5 times.

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Moreover, the campaign inspired over 5,000 user-generated posts featuring the original sound by DJ Sickick, resulting in a staggering 8.4bn views of the #CODSquadUp challenge hashtag. These posts played a pivotal role in promoting the game’s messaging, raising awareness and building excitement.

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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