Activision discusses how YouTube helps them to market games

Activision’s VP-Digital Marketing Jonathan Anastas discussed with AdAge how YouTube plays in to marketing their biggest franchise, Call of Duty.

“We look to YouTube as almost one of the most important communication mediums we have,” said Activision’s VP-Digital Marketing Jonathan Anastas. “Over the course of a year we publish 50 to 60 pieces of content on our own,” Mr. Anastas said, adding that “a super large percent of our YouTube content is created for YouTube exclusively.”

Call of Duty’s official YouTube channel has gained over 1.4M subscribers and over a half a billion views since it opened. Activision has also been a lead publisher in creating original content, like with MW3 and Elite’s exclusive TV shows.

Activision has created original content since 2011 exclusively for gamers who pay for Call of Duty’s subscription service Elite, Mr. Anastas said, and has courted top YouTube creators to produce videos on the brand’s behalf. The weekend before the E3 gaming conference commenced, Activision put on a live TV-and-web show to promote the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts game. “The entire audience was YouTube creators. We identified, flew in and gave assets to a number of key YouTube creators, and they were allowed to go make their own content with our assets leading right into E3,” Mr. Anastas said.

“If you look at our portfolio of franchises [including Call of Duty, kids’ game Skylanders and the Halo-esque Destiny], you’re going to start to see more originally generated content that isn’t necessarily a game asset in the marketplace within the next six months,” Mr. Anastas said. He declined to offer specifics, but acknowledged that the new content could see wider distribution than the Elite videos, including possibly streaming to YouTube.

YouTube has become the main way that many publishers use now to share the latest in all their games.

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