Commercials and advertising are an important thing for any kind of intellectual property, business, or franchise. Getting your name out there is beneficial to gaining more revenue and attention, which in turn helps you grow your fan-base. I’m not against advertising in any way, but I’d be lying if I didn’t think advertising could go too far at times. A good example of this is the animated commercials for “League of Legends”, which have to be some of my least favorite advertisements of all time.
Please keep mind that I’m not trying to put down League of Legends or its fan-base with this post. I just really don’t like its advertising, that’s all. I’m a huge fan of animation, but even I can’t deny how bland these advertisements are. Most of the animated commercials lack any sort of consistent style, and all appear to be made by different animators. On paper, this doesn’t sound so bad. The problem is that all these animators approach animation and tone differently, resulting in an inconsistent style for most of these advertisements.
For example, some commercials are styled like Japanese anime, while others are presented as animatic-style Flash animations. This results in most commercials having no real correlation with each other, due to them all being so vastly different. It probably doesn’t help that some of them seem to lie about the game, or don’t properly portray it correctly.
You see, League of Legends is a “MOBA”, which stands for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”. It’s similar to a MMORPG, but lacking the vast open-world and quests of one. Instead of questing across a fantasy world, you do battle on an arena with teams of players. The game itself relies on good coordination and teamwork in order to achieve victory.
Thing is, some advertisements choose to portray the game differently. A good example is the video below, which tries to make the game seem more like a MMORPG. You have players exploring the world and having adventures, while fighting other players. In truth, there are no real adventures to be had in this game.
League of Legends mostly exists as a competitive game nowadays, which the commercial does a poor job of demonstrating. Several other League of Legends ads rely on really bad comedy, which results in a lot of jokes just missing the mark. Most of them contain silly voices, awkward editing, or a lack of any real comedic hook. I know comedy is subjective, but I always found these “comedic” advertisements to really lack any punch.
I’ve harped a lot on the advertisements themselves, but they are really only part of the problem. The real issue I have with them is the frequency in which they get shown, since I often get barraged by them way too often. League of Legends has many of these adverts, which will often by shoved into your face as you try to watch a video on YouTube.
I have no problem with YouTube advertisements, but I get a sick of them constantly shoving the same commercials for the same game down my gullet all the time. It’s especially weird since I never watched any League of Legends videos before today, so there would be little reason for YouTube’s strange algorithm to put them in front of me. I haven’t even played the game in the years, since it was never really my type of genre.
I’ve heard rumors that the reason the advertising is so gratuitous is due to the game starting to die. It wouldn’t surprise me, considering League of Legends is nearly past its expiration date. The game has been around for almost 10 years now, and is mostly kept alive by its competitive scene. Most online games only last about 3-10 years, so I can’t see the game continuing much past this point.
Again, I’ve got nothing against advertising a game. The key problem is that the advertising is too in-your-face and inconsistent. When you have over a dozen different animators/animation teams all producing their own vision, then things are bound to get problematic. I feel that having a unified vision could help the advertising in the long run, but I doubt that will ever happen. Oh well, at least it’s not one of the worst advertising campaigns I’ve seen…