Chuck Norris - World of Warcraft

Has anyone seen the new Chuck Norris commercial for World of Warcraft? He has some fun with a couple of the memes about him.


Also, would you believe he is nearly 72?

As I have said in several other places. I repeat this every time I see the commercial.

(read in the same voice as the commercial)

Then Chuck Norris is not a Hunter.
Because a Hunter is someone who Hunts

Seen it. For me it confirms that Blizzard is getting out of touch with their fan base. (That meme was old, tired and left for dead 3 or 4 years ago, shortly after Barrens chat gave way to Trade chat.)

Why is he a hunter? If he’s so big and bad, he should be a naked warrior who doesn’t need an extra tank. Especially since, according to the commercial, I play only because he lets me. Makes him sound like a griever.

Yeah, can’t stand that commercial.

It’s a depressing ad.

Does it? At this point, what’s Blizzard’s best strategy - continue to recruit new users, or try to retain their existing users, who might be amused by Norris and Mr. T and William Shatner and Verne Troyer and Jean-Claude Van Damme and Ozzy Osbourne, all of whom are past their peaks of popularity but will resonate with the 40-55 crowd.

Hey, that would be me they’re trying to keep. I liked the Mr. T and Ozzy commercials and have not seen the Shatner or Troyer ones, so Blizzard is 2 for 3 with this old fogey.

People still play WoW? I thought the cool kids had switched to Rift.

N.b.: I have no dog in this fight. My girlfriend games and switched to Rift some time ago.

As I mentioned earlier I’m not a kid and certainly am not cool. So, I guess the cool kids did leave. Good! More resources for me!

Yes, it does.

The question you ask has absolutely no bearing on whether or not Blizzard has lost touch with it’s fan base. Your question asks about building an entirely new fan base.

Well, that depends how you define “fan base”. I got the impression you meant “fan base” to mean “young people looking for new computer games to play” (and wouldn’t know or care who Chuck Norris is) while I figure Blizzard’s “fan base” is “people who’ve been playing Warcraft for a few years” (and were probably internet-aware enough to know about Chuck Norris facts, and pop-culture-aware enough to recognize Shatner, Osbourne, Mr. T. etc.) I don’t see the losing-touch aspect, any more than Family Guy “loses touch” with it’s fan base with cutaway humour that references 1980s TV shows. The familiarity is the touch. Blizzard might arguably be losing touch if their ads featured newcomers like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber or… blast, who do the young people like today… Morgan Freeman.

That memento was played out during G.W. Bush’s first term. It, and Chuck, are pathetic.

Slow down and re-read my first post. Then read the post directly above this one by drastic_quench.

Do you still not understand what I mean when I say that Blizzard is out of touch with it’s fan base?

I have no idea why you would think I was ever talking about “young people looking for new computer games to play”. I’m sorry for your confusion, and am always seeking to improve my writing skills. What is it about the possessive phrase “their (meaning Blizzard’s) fan base” that would cause you to think I meant that?

Also, if you thought I was talking about “young people looking for new computer games to play”, why did you specifically mention the 40-55 year old demographic?

Just another data point: I also thought it was stale. It would have been a decent commercial 4 or 5 years ago. They’re clearly trying stop the decline in their subscriber numbers. (Their “free Diablo 3 with purchase of a year of WOW” will probably be a lot more effective than any commercial, though.)

There are actually a number of reasons why I consider the Blizzard brand to be tarnished. This commercial is a small example of why I believe this to be the case.

No, because if your point was something other than I what I’d assumed, then I don’t know what you’re talking about. Exactly what do you think Blizzard’s fan base is, and how are some mild-nostalgia Chuck Norris ads a sign of leaving it behind?

Read my post more slowly. Norris is but the latest in a line of pop-culture figures whose heydey range from ~1975 (Norris’s movies; Shatner in Star Trek reruns, Osbourne in Black Sabbath) to ~2002 (Troyer’s appearance in the last Austin Powers movie). The average age of an American Warcraft player is 30 (2010 cite, and younger than I thought, but it seems to be trending upward), someone indeed old enough to know who all or most of these pitchmen are, so I don’t get the losing touch claim. I just picked the range of 40-55 as a guess to who would likely be the most responsive to an ad campaign featuring Shatner, Mr. T, Osbourne etc. and now Norris, and I can see why Blizzard would move to maintain appeal to these players while younger ones are harder to gauge, attract and retain. Heck, I can picture Blizzard’s plan for Warcraft is to keep it just appealing enough by throwing in the occasional enhancement without making any dramatic changes so their inevitably-shrinking customer base dribbles away as slowly as possible.

[sub]Try to patronize me, willya?[/sub]

Okay, I guess I’ll have to. You don’t seem to understand why there’s a World of Warcraft ad featuring Chuck Norris.

The reason the ad got made is because, as I and drastic_quench indicated, Chuck Norris jokes were an overwhelming force within the game. Players would spend hours, literally hours, typing Chuck Norris jokes into chat channels, to the point that at times, it was difficult or impossible to use the chat channels for anything other than Chuck Norris jokes.

This trend died out at least 3, more likely 4 years ago. It certainly started to wane as long ago as 2006, when an expansion caused people to leave one area of the game and it’s designated chat channel (The Barrens) in order to get things done in a new major city and the server-wide-if-you’re-in-a-city Trade Chat channel.

The fact that Blizzard waited this long to make an ad featuring Chuck Norris doesn’t show that they know what their fan base, i.e. the people who play their game, are into; in fact, it shows that they do not have their finger on the pulse of their core demographic, or the peers of their core demographic. When people talked in-game about this ad, it was overwhelmingly derisive commentary.

This ad didn’t help Blizzard because the people who were “in on the joke” had already moved on from the joke several years ago, and people who weren’t “in on the joke” didn’t even know there was a joke to be in on.

I strangely feel no shame whatsoever for not knowing that a fad particularly resonated among a particular set of nerds, but no matter - Norris’s ad is perfectly consistent with the ones featuring other past-prime celebrities. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see “I’m Adam West, and I’m a Dark-Bat Mage…”

Except the others aren’t past-their-prime celebs.

Well, maybe Mr. T…

Shatner is still wildly popular with Trekkies and is in ads all over TV & the internet for price, while Ozzy is well-known from 40 years as a huge rock and roll star who had recently been on a hit TV series (The Osbournes). Heck, Ozzy even had a million+ selling album in the year before his ad aired.

No, you shouldn’t feel shame in not knowing what the joke was, or that it even existed. But there was an inside joke, a sly wink, etc., being made by Blizzard, and it wasn’t particularly well-done or well-recieved by the people it was directed towards.

Well, among those who expressed an opinion that you remembered, anyway.


Give it up, dude. You didn’t understand why I (and AFAICT the vast majority of WoW players) think the ad is lame, so I explained it to you. Just accept my explanation in the spirit it was offered (fighting your ignorance of the topic), and let it go.

You like the ad? Great; I’m happy that you were entertained by it. Congratulations, etc.