Frontline Marketing

Wargaming Helps Hollywood Market ‘Dunkirk’ And Other WWII Films

By | July 14, 2017

In conjunction with Warner Bros. and alongside Christopher Nolan’s WWII action thriller Dunkirk, Wargaming is kicking off a commemoration of the historic event with a series of history-based activities and bundles. The “Remember Dunkirk” content will be available across World of Tanks, World of Warships and World of Warplanes beginning July 14.

Erik Whiteford, head of marketing at Wargaming America, told AListDaily that the game maker’s previous partnership with Sony Pictures on Fury helped reinforce the audience’s connection with the World War II genre and games.

“This not only helped with our existing player-base, which have a very strong identification with World War II-themed properties, but it also exposes World of Tanks to a broader audience who may not have heard of World of Tanks through other channels,” Whiteford explained. “Fury was perfect, given the nature of the story, wherein the tank itself was one of the lead characters. The tank battle footage is very engaging, and it was in many ways indicative of the kind of action a player experiences in World of Tanks. It also never hurts to be associated with global icons such as star Brad Pitt and acclaimed director David Ayer.”

Wargaming also learned that its brand and gaming audience is very attractive to Hollywood filmmakers and marketers.

“We have a daily relationship with millions of players globally, which provides an incredibly effective platform for filmmakers and marketers who want to tap into the core World War II audience,” Whiteford said. “The filmmakers were also able to leverage our knowledge about tanks and battles tactics to ensure accuracy when making the film. We’re also able to incorporate elements from the film into our game, which provides another relevant and timely touch point for our players and a unique way for the film to connect with our audience.”

Wargaming is launching a full series of “Remember Dunkirk” themed missions on July 14 that will take over the battlefields of World of Tanks and the combat-filled skies of World of Warplanes. Players can compete to earn “Remember Dunkirk”-themed vehicles and accumulate experience points that are redeemable for in-game gear, including special camouflage and more.

The battles will expand in the coming weeks with a series of World of Warships missions that will give commanders the opportunity to earn Dunkirk-themed containers and flags, as well as a Dunkirk themed ship commander.

Dunkirk is an epic WWII action-thriller film,” Whiteford said. “Our games are epic WWII action games in which we are able to provide compelling land, sea and air WWII experiences. Partnering with Dunkirk allows us to talk about all of our games and the experiences they offer. It has become a perfect platform to promote the Wargaming Battle Trilogy, versus focusing on one property or the other.”

Whiteford explained that Wargaming’s in-game experiences are not so much “play the movie,” than they are about extending the film experience through its games.

“Dunkirk was one of the pivotal points of WWII, one that, had it turned out differently, would have altered the course of the war significantly,” said Whiteford. “Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk will bring these events to the big screen in a way that underscores the human drama and the thousands of individual stories that were a part of this harrowing event. While our games are not story-driven per se, they do deliver the intensity and drama of WWII battles.

Whiteford said films like Fury and Dunkirk reignite people’s interest in WWII. These films allow Wargaming to tap into a wave of renewed interest in the genre.

“We are able to communicate to potential players in the context of a shared passion for this era,” Whiteford added. “Wargaming is obsessed with WWII and we welcome any mass market property that joins the party.”

Wargaming is supporting the entire trilogy with a Dunkirk-themed, cross-media marketing campaign that will run on TV, online video, social, and digital platforms. Most of the creative will contain assets from both the Dunkirk film and Wargaming online games.

“We’ll be running community events that will allow our players to see pre-release screenings of the film,” Whiteford said. “Our games will also be featured on Dunkirk’s web portal and social media sites.”

Wargaming also produced a series of documentaries that tell the story of The Miracle of Dunkirk from the perspective of tanks, warships, and warplanes. The game maker also created two 360-degree videos that take the viewer into the cockpit of the iconic RAF Spitfire, an aircraft that played a key role in the evacuation. The videos emulate the path of the evacuation, flying from the southern coast of England to the northern coast of France toward Dunkirk. More installments will be released episodically in the coming weeks.

“Our players index heavily in World War II interest, so films focused on this period in history are high on their priority list,” Whiteford said. “These films bring back to life the stories and the era that mean a lot to our players. We look at these films as an extension of what our games provide and our games are extensions of the films. Either way, they help reinforce the impact and importance of this era which we at Wargaming are so passionate about.”