*Toting an automatic weapon with the word “Mamba” scrawled on the side, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant gets his soldier on in the new commercial for the video game “Call Of Duty: Black Ops.”
The five-time NBA champion arrived at the season opener against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 26 in a limited edition “Call of Duty” Jeep to promote the latest game in the “Call of Duty” franchise. [See photo above].
He also made an appearance at the Black Ops launch event held inside a hangar at the Santa Monica airport Thursday night, where he helped present a $1 million check to the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit organization which helps soldiers transition to civilian careers after their military service has ended. [See photo below.]
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” is set in Cuba, Russia and Vietnam during the Cold War, a franchise first. Last year’s release of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” holds the single-day sales record for any entertainment medium: $401 million on Nov. 10, 2009.
The 60-second ad, which debuted this week along with the game itself, is titled “There Is a Soldier in All of Us.” It features every day folks such as a hotel concierge, nurse, businessman, as well as an NBA player (Bryant) and a late night talk show host (Jimmy Kimmel) shooting at each other as if they were playing the game in real life to the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”
“It was fun,” Bryant said Friday. “It’s like playing the video game. You’re illustrating what it’s like to actually play it.”
“When I got the call to do it, it was always something I thought was paying tribute to those who protect us,” Bryant continued. “It was fun for me to do and it was kind of tipping my hat to everything they do for us. I had a great time.”
The ad was filmed in a California desert this summer and Bryant was shown the proper way to fire his gun, which had “Mamba” written on it by actual military personnel.
“It was very different,” Bryant said. “It was like a movie set. I was out of my element quite a bit … It was fun getting dusty and running around and getting trained by some of our country’s finest.”