06 December, 2011

What's the Deal With... The WoW Chuck Norris Commercial?

An internet rant is a beautiful thing. Because, why even be online, with all the anonymity that brings, and even attempt to contain all that angst. It's why we have comments on everything from blogs to Youtube to news stories. People need to complain! We have things on our chest and we've got to get them off...and our significant others are just plain tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.

In light of this, I decided to institute a new feature on the blog where I can bring up whatever's on my mind, be it terrible book covers, titles, ideas, bloggers (okay, probably just Pat), you name it and have some fun with it.


You've probably seen this commercial, but here it is if you missed it:

Chuck Norris doing the Chuck Norris joke kills the Chuck Norris joke.

It's just a fact.

Make a character look like Chuck Norris (as they did) and I could see this working if that's all you did, but actually including the real Chuck Norris makes me think he might actually think those things are true. Obviously he doesn't, but come on World of Warcraft, don't you know how jokes work?


Kathryn said...

I saw this advert, and I have to admit I was left rather unimpressed.

It's not just the fact that they got Chuck Norris to do it, it's the fact that Chuck Norris jokes went out of fashion two or three years ago, and the ones they put in the advert just weren't even funny.

At least Mr T was charismatic during his advert. Foo'.

Bryce L. said...

Yes! Yes! I should have had you write this. So true, this is old news and I thought Mr. T worked way better as well.

Kathryn said...

No, this video itself isn't old news. I think it's fairly recent, has to be with the Goblins in it, but I think Blizzard completely missed the point.

Rick Rolling, as an example, has died off in the past few years, and so did the Chuck jokes. It's simply that people don't care about those jokes any more, and really they're just flogging a dead horse with them. Even when they were cool, it wasn't Chuck Norris himself that was cool or funny, it was the situations and the jokes. You could have replaced him with Steven Seagull (or Segal as he's better known) or even Tom Sellick, and they would have been funny.

It's like the Isiah Mustafah thing ("Hello ladies..."), it ran out of steam and is now something almost forgotten. Memes can have a varied life spans, but rarely do they truly last more than a year or two at most without becoming seriously unfunny.

That's what happened to Chuck, it's just Blizzard don't realise that.

Actually, now I think about it... This could actually - on the other hand - be a well-reasoned move. Blizzard might be trying to get back older players, and Chuck Norris (and Warcraft-themed) jokes were quite popular in areas like the Barrens, which was a huge zone that some players spent a lot of time in and as such came up with jokes to entertain themselves and others. It could be a way to connect with those older players.

But still, the dead horse metaphor is still true. It's something in the past, and this attempt really did fall flat. It's too distant, it's seemingly not linked to any in-game event or a big marketing boost (which happened for Mr T in the former situation, and Shatner/Davis/Others in the latter), and there's no context.

Big fat fail on Blizzard's part.

Jamie Gibbs said...

The problem with trying to reference Internet culture is that it changes even faster than the technology used to power it. Blizzard are never going to be able to catch up, so why bother? They'd have to create their own meme out of something original.

Kathryn said...

Disagree, Jamie. There's a good number of memes that have lasted some time. Chuck Norris was one of the longer lasting ones, I'd reckon, but it really did just drop off quite a long while ago. By deciding to do a Chuck Norris vid this late in the game shows a lack of intelligence from Blizzard (not for the first time in recent months, I must say). This could have been a brilliant marketing ploy a few years ago, but now? Nope, it's fallen completely flat on its face.

And they have created their own memes before. Warcraft itself spawned many over the years, but the Mr T stuff did quite well.

They should "bother" to try to keep at least semi-relevant because that's how you appeal to someone. You reference something they know, understand and enjoy, and you form that bond. When it's as outdated and forgotten as the Chuck Norris meme, you end up looking like that guy who comes upto you bouncing with excitement whilst he says "Hey guyz! lookz what I foundz last night! Lookz! There'z this show called Xena! It's awesome!" What can you do but shrug and walk away? Xena was your bedroom fantasy a decade ago, you've moved on since then.

And that is why Blizzard look a bit stupid.