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William Shatner is a Shaman…

I don’t play World of Warcraft any more- it was fun, but lacked depth. But apparently William Shatner plays WoW, or at least he claims to in a new World of Warcraft television commercial.

And Will Shatner isn’t the only celebrity doing TV ads for WoW- Mr. T does one too, and claims to play a “Night elf Mohawk” (the off camera director reminds him that it is a Night elf Warrior, and there is no such thing as a “mohawk” class.

The commercials are kinda funny- I like them. But the more interesting thing to me is that this is the first MMOG commercial I’ve seen with “mainstream” celebrities participating. I guess Blizzard has mountains of money to spend, what with something like 10 million people subscribing to World of Warcraft at $15 a month each.

I wonder how Mr. T reacts when he gets ganked in PvP? “I pity da fool…”

3 comments to William Shatner is a Shaman…

  • I remember when I used to frequent the Wizards of the Coast, and they were looking for ways to make D&D “cool”. A bunch of us common folk told the powers that be that they needed to have celebrities shown playing the game … a few of the ideas for commercials were very similar to these WoW ones in fact.

    Needless to say, the powers that used to be, instead put on TV an advert that showed a bunch of hyperactive, hyperventilating kids with bad skin.

  • But ADD kids with acne problems are the ones who *buy* games, so obviously they are the best ones to sell them, right?

    The funny thing is, when a celebrity or star “admits” to playing a game like WoW or Dungeons and Dragons, most geeks will assume they are lying. Apparently, the thought goes that no one that good looking/famous/unlike me could enjoy the same things I do.

    That doesn’t change that fact that attractive/famous people are more likely to be able to sell something then unattractive/unknown people. The ideal, I think, is to find attractive and famous people who are convincing when they say they enjoy “geeky” past-times. If the celebrity is sincere and really *does* enjoy D&D/WoW/what have you, it is a powerful message.

    I’m not very sure, though, whether I believe Shatner plays WoW. He has always given me the impression that he is at least somewhat dismissive/derogatory towards nerds/geeks and the like.

  • I suspect that at best, they sit down the celeb for an hour or two and run him or her through a “tame” escorted version of the game.

    That way, the celeb can truthfully say they’ve played the game, and if anyone ask them about it they will know enough to get through a 30 second soundbite without giving it away.

    But as you say, most people will assume it’s BS anyway … but the key is that it will sell anyway. Such is the power of celebrity. If nothing else, it means that the “cool” people can no longer laugh at us for playing this game because they say they play it too. And we all know that if cool people don’t think you are a dork ( and celebrities are cool by definition ) then you aren’t a dork. Because it is the cool people that decide what is dorky and what isn’t. It is the “in” group that decides what is “out” simply by excluding it.

    Ahh well, I and others also told the WotC guys to get a Harry Potter themed RPG out there. To fly to England crawl on hands and knees and beg JK Rawlings for a chance to show her that a Hogwarts RPG could be a good thing. To mortgage the company to get the license. Their reply was that they had read “somewhere” that JK Rawlings had said she didn’t like Role Playing Games, we didn’t understand marketing and anyway, a card game would be just as good.

    So how is that Harry Potter TCG doing these days anyway? 😉

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