What's scarier than a zombie? A Nazi zombie...IRL.

What's scarier than a zombie? A Nazi zombie...IRL.

Marketing Campaign

HOW A FEW LETTERS FROM THE 1940S INVITED TODAY'S FANS INTO A TERRIFYING NIGHTMARE

Sure, Call of Duty: WWII pits the Allied against the Axis, but the game’s Zombies Mode also pits the living against the undead.
 
As a fan-favorite component of any Call of Duty, we knew we had to bring the zombies to life with a reveal that felt as tailored to core fans as anything else in the broader campaign.
 
What we did next unfolded over four stages across both physical and digital relics, ultimately leaving influencers shook and mass fans worldwide wanting — and culminating as the most successful Zombies campaign in Call of Duty history.

Call of Duty’s Zombies Mode is a phenomenon that renews year in, year out, but with the franchise returning to WWII, the brand and development teams wanted Armed Mind to do something super special for a core fanbase who’d been waiting for a return to the brand’s roots.

Besides the hordes of undead, we had a few other challenges:

  • 1) WWII boasted a completely new Zombies storyline, with new characters, settings, and lore to define
  • 2) An influencer-led strategy required a campaign that would generate coverage, but also broaden out

The resulting campaign structure was as innovative as its content. By sending bona fide physical relics from the 1940s — secret letters, stolen research documents, vintage photos, ripped out pages from books — directly to influencers as if plucked from history, we let the community’s ambassadors “unbox” each stage of the campaign, reading the content out loud to fans, sharing scans, and publishing hidden codes we embedded within each batch of content on their own channels.

Now armed with the codes revealed by influencers, fans worldwide began entering a sister site experience that unlocked parallel content streams and yet more Zombies content, lore, and assets.

Together, the influencer-delivered creative and sister-site content formed a comprehensive narrative that followed two siblings over multiple years, establishing prequel lore for the entire Zombies WWII experience. By releasing this way, we turned a single story asset into 8 unique content beats boasting 22 pieces of creative, each of which was amplified widely by influencers, press, and social.

Call of Duty: WWII
Client
Activision Blizzard
Project
Call of Duty: WWII
What We Did
  • Campaign Ideation
  • Hand-Executed Design and Distressing
  • Copywriting and Visual Development
  • Social Assets
  • Digital Assets
  • Authentic 1940s Paper Sourcing and Fabrication
  • Secret Code Stuff We Can’t Tell You About (or We’d Have to Kill You)

THE FIRST INFLUENCER-LED ZOMBIE REVEAL IN CALL OF DUTY HISTORY.

Seeding physical narrative relics to influencers not only unlocked the floodgates of a digital content campaign, but also set the tone for Call of Duty: WWII’s entire Zombies marketing campaign, leading to record buzz — and record-breaking sell-through.

Results
  • 1.2 MILLION DIRECT VIDEO VIEWS
  • #2 MOST PRE-ORDERED VIDEO GAME OF THE YEAR
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