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Survey Finds Stark Gender Difference In Reaction To Black Ops Ad

A controversial ad for Activision's new Call of Duty: Black Ops garners starkly different reactions from men and women, according to a survey by ad analysis firm Ace Metrix.
A controversial ad for Activision's new Call of Duty: Black Ops garners starkly different reactions from men and women, according to a survey by ad analysis firm Ace Metrix. The ad [video] -- which shows celebrities including Jimmy Kimmel and Kobe Bryant joining everyday people to fire weapons at each other in a war-torn desert landscape -- was much more well-received by men than women, according to the study. On average, men rated the ad a full 277 points higher than women on Ace's 950-point Ace Score scale, which uses standardized questions to measure seven metrics relating to the ad's persuasiveness and watchability. Overall, the survey found the Black Ops ad more effective than the average video game ad, scoring 70 points above the game industry average of 644 on the Ace Score scale. "This ad definitely caught people's attention, having recorded one of the highest attention scores that we’ve seen," said Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll in a statement. "The ad did better among males than females, but females under 35 still reacted positively." "Women 35 and older did not like the ad, with many commenting about the violence, but then again they aren't likely to be in the market for war-based video games," he continued. Since its release, the ad and its celebrity participants have drawn criticism from many media commentators, who say it sends the wrong message about the role of violence in our society and in the media. Activision recently refused to allow ESPN show Outside the Lines to air the commercial during a discussion of Kobe Bryant's role in the ad, according to host Bob Ley. The controversy over the ad does not seem to have hurt sales for the game, which generated an estimated $650 million in sales in its first five days of retail availability. The ad also appears to have been good for The Rolling Stones. Billboard tracking shows sales of the group's Gimme Shelter, which serves as the soundtrack for the ad, are up fivefold in the weeks since the ad's October 31 debut.

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