Case study: Clash of the Clans wins Super Bowl with Liam Neeson Taken spoof

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One of the big Super Bowl ads to air during half-time was a hilarious bit featuring Liam Neeson spoofing his super-spy role in Taken, Bryan Mills. The ad went on to become a massive hit on YouTube, getting 80 million views for SuperCell’s Clash of the Clans mobile game.

The challenge

Supercell was one of several mobile games firms advertising during the Super Bowl, when 30-second spots around the match’s US television coverage famously cost as much as $4.5m.

Clash of Clans developers Supercell likely spent around $9 million to air the 60-second commercial during one of the biggest television events ever.

The solution

Supercell’s ad starred actor Liam Neeson, and spoofed his much-quoted “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you” speech from 2008 film Taken, with his anger this time focused on a defeat in Clash of Clans.

“I don’t know you, BigBuffetBoy85, but if you think you can humiliate me and take my gold, think again. Oh, I am coming for you with lots of barbarians and dragons. I can’t wait to destroy your village, while you beg for mercy, but you will get no mercy. I will have my revenge … You will regret the day you crossed AngryNeeson52.”

The ads is the latest sign of the growing marketing budgets for the most popular “freemium” mobile games, which make their money from in-app purchases and in-game ads rather than upfront purchases of the games themselves.

The results

The ad beat much bigger Super Bowl advertisers, including Budweiser, Nissan, Snickers in terms of YouTube views.

But the company, which has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars over with its mobile games over the last several years figured that the ad and Liam Neeson were worth the investment.

Mobile gaming generated around $25 billion in 2014, according to research firm Newzoo. Having the most popular ad on and beyond Super Bowl Sunday should help Supercell maintain its momentum into 2015.

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