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How Activision Blizzard recruits Call of Duty gamers to raise funds

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By The Drum | Editorial

December 4, 2023 | 5 min read

The Call of Duty gaming community were recruited to raise funds for the heroes who inspired the hit game as part of a Millitary Appreciation Month initiative by The Call of Duty Endowment created by Activision Blizzard. The initiative picked up the Community Engagement Awards at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose Awards. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of the campaign work

The Call of Duty Endowment was founded to give back meaningfully to the real-life heroes that inspire the game Call of Duty. The mission of the Endowment is to help U.S. and U.K. veterans find high-quality employment after military service, and to raise awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace.

To celebrate Military Appreciation Month, the Call of Duty Endowment wanted to raise funds and awareness for their mission amongst Call of Duty players. Since November - Veterans Day - has become a saturated space with more than 40,000 U.S. nonprofits activating, the Endowment strives to own Military Appreciation Month by developing creative campaigns that engage the Call of Duty community.

This May, in honor of Military Appreciation Month, the Call of Duty Endowment leveraged its partnership with the Call of Duty gaming franchise to launch the first in-game charity extraction event within Call of Duty®: Warzone™ DMZ – Loot for Good. The goal of the campaign was to engage Call of Duty players in the Endowment’s work in a fun way, while also unlocking funds to place more veterans into high-quality jobs.

Since looting is a very common mechanic in Call of Duty, the Endowment thought about a way to leverage this in-game action and turn it into a social good campaign. During the 7-day activation, the Endowment challenged the community to loot and extract with as much in-game cash as possible instead of spending it on themselves to help put veterans back to work.

Strategy

To launch the campaign, we developed a strategy to engage the community to raise funds and awareness for the cause. For each match played inside Call of Duty’s popular DMZ mode where players looted at least $30,000 of in-game cash between May 1 – 7, Activision Blizzard allocated $1 as part of a $1 million total donation to the Endowment to place veterans into high-quality jobs. For completing the challenge, players earned a custom in-game reward showcasing they not only participated in, but completed the challenge.

Call of Duty Creators like Dimitri Karambinis (“DK Dynamite”), Ryder Skarzinski (“Ryda”), Joshua Dalton (“Josh Barracks”), Matthew Novello (“Matterz”), and Regina Gwyn (“CupC4ke”), also helped to get the word out about the activation and encouraged their audiences to join in on the first-charity extraction challenge.

To encourage competition and drive engagement with the campaign, we created a microsite landing page with a competitive leaderboard of the top 100 players who completed the challenge.

To promote Loot for Good, the Endowment partnered with the War Hippies – two U.S. combat veterans and country musicians – to create a music video to engage fans and explain the activation. The lyrics from the song directly related to the Loot for Good campaign and the Endowment’s mission to place vets into high-quality jobs. The music video was posted natively across Call of Duty social channels, and was also featured on YouTube’s gaming homepage the day of launch, helping to drive more awareness for the campaign and cause.

In addition to the music video, we shared social media posts each day of the campaign encouraging people to “Loot for Good”. The posts were amplified across Call of Duty channels, our grantees, Call of Duty Mobile and Call of Duty League to further raise awareness about the Endowment and our campaign.

Results

The 7-day activation successfully achieved our goal of engaging the Call of Duty community while also generating funds to help more veterans find great jobs. The activation was picked up by Forbes, CBS News, VentureBeat, Gamespot, Stars & Stripes, and The Drum. Through the $1,000,000 donated from Activision Blizzard, the Endowment was able to fund the placement of more than 1,600 veterans into high-quality jobs.

The Endowment was successful in engaging Call of Duty players because they met them on the platforms they use most frequently in-game and social media. Loot for Good gave Call of Duty DMZ fans the opportunity to directly support veterans by doing what they love - playing the game. This initiative was not only fun but helped engage the Call of Duty community in the Endowment’s work to place more veterans into high-quality jobs.

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