US Army Special Operations Command paratrooper D.B. Grady has poured scorn on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s live-action TV ads.
In an article entitled “The Hideous Marketing of ‘Modern Warfare 3′” for the Atlantic, Grady described the “tastelessness” of the commercial series starring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill as the Vet and the n00b.
“The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war,” he said.
“After ten years of constant war, of thousands of amputees and flag-draped coffins, of hundreds of grief-stricken communities, did nobody involved in this commercial raise a hand and say, ‘You know, this is probably a little crass. Maybe we could just show footage from the game.'”
Himself a veteran of Afghanistan, Grady said the ad’s timing is particularly poor given escalating conflict.
“As Afghanistan intensifies and we assess the mental and physical damage to veterans of Iraq, is now really the time to sell the country on how much fun the whole enterprise is?” he asked.
“Here I point to the giddy howls of one supposed soldier in the commercial as he fires a grenade launcher at some off-screen combatant. War is great, see? It’s like a gritty Disneyland.”
Activision was also criticised for its 2010 Black Ops marketing, which also used the tagline “there’s a soldier in all of us”.