Groundbreaking ‘Mad World’ Trailer Reimagined In Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Although Microsoft says it didn’t intend to take over the Internet with its viral “Gears of War” commercial in 2006, the company is clearly hoping to recreate some of that hoopla with its reimagined ad this week. The company just released an ad for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition that features the same “Mad World” song and more of clever storytelling that made the original a hit with fans.

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Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

The first Gears of War commercial struck a chord with gamers, thanks in part to the quiet, haunting song, Mad World, which seemed to amplify both the commercial’s more reflective moments and the bursts of man vs. alien violence. Fans immediately picked up on ad’s creativity and worked in their own, creating hundreds of reimagined versions of the Gears of War commercial, which were collectively viewed more than a million times and provided Microsoft with boatloads of publicity.

Gears of War original trailer

“So with this spot we set out to reach 80 percent of our core gamer target by using traditional TV and cinema,” said Microsoft’s Mich Matthews at the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit in 2007. “But what happened is with this spot we achieved something quite different: an unanticipated and unparalleled level of consumer engagement. We got more than 700 community-created mashups that now have been viewed more than a million times.”

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition trailer

Matthews admitted during her presentation that Microsoft hadn’t meant to create an ad that would be picked up and tweaked by the online gamer community like that. “I have to say, though, it’s something, certainly now, that we factor in when we’re going through that creative process.”

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Gears of War: Ultimate Editon

And there’s no doubt that Microsoft did exactly that when putting together its Gears of War: Ultimate Edition commercial. Whether the new ad is as good as the original is up for debate (I’m coming down solidly on the side of the original, but I’m rarely a fan of sequels), but the action in the new commercial sure looks good. Like the first one, the new Gears of War: Ultimate Edition commercial tells a story that makes the viewer want to gear up and get in there. It’s going to be a hit even if it doesn’t become fodder for mashup wizardry went it arrives on August 26th.