Laurence Tureaud, better known as Mr. T, joins William Shatner in a nationwide campaign promoting “World of Warcraft“, the popular online roleplaying game published by Blizzard Entertainment.
Mr. T himself talks about his Night Elf Mohawk playing character, only to be told there is no such thing as a Mohawk class. Mr. T retaliates, wondering why no one thought he was good enough with computers to possibly hack the “World of Warcraft” game and add the Mohawk option. Once the “condescending” director has been put in his place, Mr. T asks the viewer, “What’s your game?”
Mr. T’s commercial created a vocal outcry for a “Mohawk” playing character, according to Neal Hubbard, Vice President of Global Marketing for Blizzard.
“We created a ‘Mohawk’ class for the Mr. T ad as a joke, so it’s been kind of funny to see how many people are now demanding we add it to the game,” Hubbard told Access Hollywood.
Hubbard also shared a glimpse into the creative process behind Mr. T’s advert.
“When we got on set, we realized that we needed to write some shorter lines for the Mr. T script. Someone from the crew happened to have a ‘Mr. T in Your Pocket’ talking keychain, which blurted out ‘shut up fool!‘ when you hit a button. Now that’s perfect,” he added.
William Shatner also joins the party, pontificating about his Shaman playing character and its ability to funnel the powers of the ancients. When asked, Shatner claims the best way to hurl lightning bolts from your hands is “to pick up ‘World of Warcraft’, dawg.” And yes, he actually says “dawg.”
While the characters these celebrities claim to be playing were created solely for the commercials now airing nationwide throughout the holiday season, other notable personalities have said they are “World of Warcraft” players, including Brandon Routh from “Superman Returns“, Masi Oka of “Heroes“, and Curt Schilling, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
But this is not the first time “World of Warcraft” has tapped some cult favorites in Hollywood to sell their product. Mike Judge’s film, “Office Space“, was used last year by the creatives at Blizzard as a backdrop for their first television ad campaign. After lead character Peter Gibbons is asked if the TPS reports will be done by the end of the day, Gibbons is shown playing “World of Warcraft“, instead of “Tetris” like in the film, while telling his annoying manager to leave before he has a meeting with the “Bobs.”
In fact, “World of Warcraft” is so popular other companies are using it to advertise their product. Recently, a Toyota Tacoma truck ad hit the airwaves in which a playing character called forth the mighty truck and used it too overcome a mythical dragon. The commercial featured a party of players bemoaning the use of the vehicle, while its driver shouted to the heavens, “I am the law giver!”
In China, Coca Cola portrayed girl mega group S.H.E. as warriors fighting against their management, represented as an Orc, over the pop group’s image.
And yet, the use of “World of Warcraft” within popular media doesn’t end there.
Last year, “South Park” featured an entire episode set within the game, as the boys of “South Park” worked tirelessly to overcome a great evil, a player who played for so long he was more powerful than the administrators themselves. All the while, the boys were turning into that which they hunted: fat, geeky, and out of shape slobs. The tongue-in-cheek look at “World of Warcraft” featured materials from the game itself, all with Blizzard’s blessing. In fact, an item that was the center-piece of the episode was recently released as part of a expansion entitled “The Burning Crusade.” Fans the world over loved the episode, which also received the 2007 Emmy for “Outstanding Animated Program.”