Description and Analysis: Telling It How It Is and Why It Is So

A Sheet of Work for Analysis

The Update

In the attached completed chart closely related to the very topic at hand, there are many observations on the rhetorical situation of the chosen products’ advertisements and the multi-method uses of them for a single purpose. I notice a more central focal point in the products’ creators’ method of advertisement, one aimed at providing a way to play a pivotal role in a story–one in which someone can be the main character. This analysis answers about ninety-nine percent of the question at hand (the “why” of their advertisements); the other one percent is any question that could stem from the initial inquiry.

Interesting Advertisement and the Curious Complexity of It

This is a short yet riveting description!!”

The world has plummeted into chaos. Tracers fly, explosions riddle the battlefield, soldiers shout out commands and acknowledgments to their allies. War rages on. *click* A menu with a bold title interrupts the captain’s order to move around the left flank. “GAME PAUSED.” It’s a game, there is no war. A few minutes pass and the player returns with a pepperoni Hot Pocket. He picks up his controller and returns to the firefight.

Simulation games allow us to escape the worries of the real world for a while. Whether it’s rising gas prices, impending (or current) debt, or the annoying little s*** that is our younger brother, that escape is the stress relief we may need. Some get a kick out of living a separate life, baking loaves of banana bread or conversing incoherently with a fake person; or building a casino, where artificial customers enjoy themselves with a bit of gambling and slots. Then, there are those who get relief from firing digital bullets at digital enemies to accomplish a digital mission. Then again, all of these games can be for pure enjoyment. There are many games that target that third audience, promising them the feeling of importance, of being great, of saving lives… of being the hero.

“The rest is just a bunch of interesting facts.”

One of the biggest franchises in the category of military and tactical warfare simulation seems to have captured that promise and has become the most renowned virtual present-day-setting shooter in the world–Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (and its three parts, CoD4: Modern Warfare, CoD: Modern Warfare 2 and CoD: Modern Warfare 3). It takes quite a lot of success (and funding) to be able to produce three titles in a franchise, and Activision’s and Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare series is the very epitome of that success. After selling over thirteen million copies in two years, the initial installment created the most well-known community of players who enjoy such simulations (let’s be honest–who couldn’t enjoy a little bit of virtual violence?). Other titles try to replicate this franchise’s success, but even with the enormous virtual-shooter fan-base there is still a large margin of players who prefer Call of Duty.

Successful Marketing from Four Simple Factors: Why Was the Release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 So Successful?

The advertisements of Modern Warfare are perhaps Activision’s and Infinity Ward’s greatest factor to why the series was one of the biggest successes in entertainment history. During the countdown to the release of the biggest title (and the final title, indefinitely) of the series, Modern Warfare 3, it was highly apparent in the commercial advertisements for it (and the entire Modern Warfare series) that presentation is everything, and presentation can only be made better by its content. This was well-established when actors Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill and Houston Rockets basketball icon Dwight Howard starred in the humorous Modern Warfare 3 trailer “The Vet and The n00b.” Because of some of the most efficient and well-timed advertisement, Modern Warfare 3 became the most successful entertainment title ever, beating the sales record of the highly-successful James Cameron movie Avatar when it generated over $1 billion in just 16 days, as opposed to the 17-day record set by Avatar. (Billion-Dollar Record)

In fact, over the course of the franchise’s history, Call of Duty shows more success over similar titles like Battlefield, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Medal of Honor (nobody mentions Medal of Honor because of its minimal success in the competition). Metacritic, a major game-review site that provides the composite score of multiple critics’ ratings, has frequently rated the Modern Warfare series higher than the title’s main competitor Battlefield (the titles that directly rivaled each title, that is). According to Metacritic, the Modern Warfare series was rated at 94,94, and 88 for each of its three titles (in respective sequential order). On the other hand, Battlefield’s  competing titles rated at 86 (composite rating of the Modern Warfare title-competition-starter mini-series Bad Company that consisted of two titles, rated 83 and 88 in respective sequential order), 77 (Battlefield 2), and 84–which, given the previous Modern Warfare ratings, was never higher than the lowest score of 88 for Modern Warfare 3. Even compared to the entire Counter Strike series, which consisted of four main titles, Modern Warfare had better scores. Counter Strike’s scores, in order of release date, were 88, 65, 88, and 83 (the initial CS, CS: Source, CS: Condition Zero, and CS: Global Offensive, respectively).

Composite Score Source: Metacritic

So, what do these ratings tell us about the Modern Warfare franchise? For a start, it might suggest that the series handled the present-day war scenario much better than Battlefield and Counter Strike could. More importantly, it could also mean that Activision and Infinity Ward probably made better content and provided better advertisement, leading to better reviews and higher sales than any other competing title.

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One thought on “Description and Analysis: Telling It How It Is and Why It Is So

  1. Wait, so are we analyzing the covers, or a specific set of advertisements for each game?

    I think you have a solid understanding of what questions can accomplish in a piece of writing. For instance, “So what do these ratings tell us…” And “Why was the game’s release so big?” But we’ve got to make sure that our over-arching research question is something that can be answered through rhetorical analysis of the ad/ cover itself, rather than through looking at other data. However, other data could potentially give rise to a very interesting question. I really do like the question of why the release was so successful, built as it is upon the outside research that reveals that the release was successful. I think that sort of thing is a good starting point, and (while I know that’s a link that you’ve given) a fantastic example of a strong research question that gets both writer and reader interested in the subject.

    -NH

    Like

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