When the Mad World commercial for the original Gears of War debuted, it was absolutely stunning. One of the best ads ever launched, it flew around the Internet and made everyone stand up and look at Gears of War even more than they already were. Part of the reason for that was because the ad was incredibly fresh. Instead of falling into the standard tropes of action game advertisement, the creators instead delivered emotion and awe. Not to mention that Mad World is one of the greatest songs ever. You can even see how the commercial has influenced game advertisement in the way Halo 3 was presented to us in ad form.
So of course the new spot for Gears of War 2 is going to have to be great, right? Well, as you can see above, it’s good, but it is far from as excitement inducing as the original. I’d argue that they went a bit too overboard with a good thing. The original trailer had it right, and it seems like for this one they just took the idea and jumped all over it until it got smothered into something less striking. Then again maybe it’s just because the song isn’t Mad World. The song in the trailer is How it Ends by DeVotchKa, and while a good song it just doesn’t have the same power.
Think about this: The first ad was so good that blogs around the Internet are not dissecting a television commercial for a game that everyone already knows about.