You can add “selling mobile games” to actor Liam Neeson’s certain set of skills.
The movie star is playing pitch man for top mobile game Clash of Clans in a new set of commercials that debuted during the Super Bowl. The ads show the Taken and Star Wars star threatening to go after another player that is trying to take his gold. A 30-second spot during the NFL’s championship game costs about $4.5 million. Well, developer Supercell decided to pay for a full minute of airtime during the big game. That means this ad set the company back about $9 million. Gaming on smartphones and tablets generated around $25 billion in revenues last year, and Clash of Clans was the top-grossing app on both iOS and Android in 2014.
Check out the ads:
Clash of Clans is a free-to-play app for iOS and Android. If you’re wondering how a game that doesn’t cost anything to download can justify a Super Bowl ad, that’s because of in-app purchases that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Super Cell is paying this kind of money to keep new players coming in and playing the game.
Even if Supercell can afford it, you might think it’s unlikely that anyone is seeing that ad and then deciding to pick up their phones to download the game. And you’re right. Television campaigns for mobile games are all about brand awareness. The company is expecting that this ad will make you more likely to download Clash of Clans the next time you see an ad for it when you’re using Facebook or Twitter.
Clash of Clans wasn’t the only game to get a major Super Bowl spot. Developer MachineZone paid millions to advertise its Game of War app with a commercial starring swimsuit model Kate Upton.
You can watch the Kate Upton ad here.
GamesBeat Black Friday Gift Guide: Everything we recommend this holiday season