Grand Theft Auto V and its advertising campaign

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) is a video game developed by Rockstar North studio and published by Rockstar Games. It is the fifth sequel of the game however it is still one of the most anticipated computer game titles to be released in 2013.

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According to Elise (2014), Rockstar Games sold 11.21 million copies and net 800 millions on its premier. Being a good video game is not sufficient to get the achievement that GTA 5 has seen, however it is significant to keep up and maintain the momentum that the franchise has enjoyed. The franchise is one of the lead flagships of Rockstar Games, one of the most popular publishers in the scene. This means there have been huge amounts of advertising for the game.

According to Clow &Baack (2008, p.173), there are useful theoretical frameworks for developing an advertisement for an advertising campaign such as hierarchy of effect model, mean-ends chain and presenting the visual and verbal image in an advertisement.

In late 2011, Rockstar tweeted a link to GTA 5 website, a trailer soon took after and the world went wild. More than three millions copies have been pre-ordered even before the game release. Throughout the following 20 months, Rockstar Games released 6 distinct trailers for the game. When the game comes out, customers are as excited as 6 years old kids at the night before Christmas (Gaudet, n.d).


Rockstar made its own social network called Lifeinvader. This is parody of Facebook that is set in the world of GTA 5. Players can create their own Lifeinvader account and access in both virtual and real world. The social network’s promotions are only that: they publicize all the energizing exercises that should be possible in GTA 5. There are, obviously, Rockstar’s acclaimed humors to connect with player and encourage sharing (McDemott, 2013).

In case of this advertisement, the hierarchy of effect model is applied.

Steps Comment
Awareness Game market is more and more powerful and Rockstar company wants to bring new video game GTA 5 to the big number of game players.
Knowledge Player knows GTA 5 is developed basing on old versions but they do not in details.
Liking and prefer Players can use Lifeinvader to experience what is possible in GTA 5 and comparing with old versions as well as other action-adventure video games. They connect with other players and share experience and passion.
Conviction Choose GTA 5 to play.
The actual purchase Enjoy playing GTA 5 with friends.




Apple is also one of the targets to be parodied when Rockstar released their iFruit app. The application permits fans to modify in-game vehicles and train pets from their telephone. The adequacy of this is about utilizing the application to blur the lines between the virtual world and reality to produce verbal promoting around the Internet.

According to mean-ends chain theory, advertisement should transmit a message, leading player to a desired end state (Clow & Baack, 2008). To create ads, the Mean-End Conceptualization of Components for Advertising Strategy (MECCAS) suggestions is using five elements: the product’s attributes, consumer benefits, leverage point, personal values and the executional framework.

Analyzing MECCAS method shows that playing GTA 5 brings player general understanding about components of a vehicle as well as their function and importance, for example. Besides, this game involves a lot of aspects such as technology and engineering and solving problems in game can help establish problem-solving skills to apply in real life (Dutta, 2013). Playing game time can be considered the relaxing time that provides player comfort enjoying.

Rockstar actually put in $265 million in developing the game as well as marketing. The marketing campaign also included a viral marketing drive, exclusive pre-order packaging deals, and strategically-placed billboards and posters. This is a huge amount which is large enough to rival a Hollywood movie. Nevertheless, the game is evaluated to pull in at least £1 billion in income in its first year, with offers of 25 million copies. Building anticipation for your product is an awesome marketing tactic to guarantee remarkable first week sales. Another tactic that used in the marketing of GTA 5 is Guerrilla marketing tactic. Guerrilla marketing utilizes minimal cost, unpredictable showcasing strategies that can make a major rate of return.


Written by Linhnamiz – 213327923


Clow, K. and Baack, D. 2008, “Advertising design theoretical frameworks and types of appeals”, 4th ed, pp. 170-194, retrieved 1 May 2016;

Dutta, N. 2013, “Video games, even violent ones like GTA could be good for your child!”, retrieved 1 May 2016, <>;

Elise, A. 2014, “GTA 6′ Release Date Rumors? Rockstar Has 45 Years Worth Of Ideas For Next ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Game”, retrieved retrieved 1 May 2016, <>;

Gaudet, C. n.d, “Market Like A Rockstar: Lessons from GTA V”, retrieved 1 May 2016, <;;

Iacobucci, D 2014, Marketing Management (MM), 4th edn, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason, retrieved 1 May 2016;

McDermott, J. 2013, “Lifeinvader, Taco Bomb: Ad Parodies In GTA 5 Hit Really Close to Home”, retrieved retrieved 1 May 2016, <>;

Robertson, N 2010, Advertising and consumer behaviour, Deakin University, Pearson, Australia, retrieved 1 May 2016;


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