Mariah Carey slays fans (and dragons) in bizarre new Game of War ad

Mariah Carey running from dragons is as much of a spectacle as Mariah Carey running through scales, it turns out.

The diva replaces Kate Upton in the latest commercial for the wildly popular freemium app Game of War: Fire Age, and it’s living up to the Internet’s expectations.

Carey makes a fleeting appearance in final few seconds in the minute long spot, slays a dragon, tells two dopey soldiers “Time to be heroes, guys” and then, trying her best to imitate a normal person’s behavior, runs away while her 1993 hit “Hero” plays in the background.

It’s as epic as the battle itself. Watch:

Bewilderment, confusion and amusement encompassed most of the reactions on Twitter.

Carey’s ad is a shift in tone for Game of War’s developer Machine Zone since it’s decidedly more campy than the hyper sexualized Upton ads that precede it. The game reportedly generates $1 million in in-app purchases each day and consistently ranks in the top 20 on iTune’s popular games list, according to AppAnnie, so it’s not like it’s thirsting for a publicity stunt.

Machine Zone hasn’t responded to our request for comment about why it chose Carey. Hutson Kovanda, the SVP Creative at marketing agency Upshot told Digiday that Carey’s appeal is likely an attempt to broaden its user base.

“This softens the obvious appeal to the salivating preteen and teenage boy that Kate Upton brought and perhaps connects with the moms who actually may purchase the game for their kids,” he said. “The moms are a purchasing target that Kate Upton with her skimpy outfits that accentuated, shall we say, her natural gifts may have actually turned off.”

Photo via YouTube/Screenshot

More in Marketing

Women’s sports marketing boom ‘huge up and coming opportunity,’ spurs new agency services

Women’s sports are having a moment. Brands, media companies and agencies are looking to get in on the action.

Creators still turning down work as the Hollywood SAG-AFTRA strike continues

The Hollywood strikes were supposed to be a game changer for many of them, but the situation hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

Agencies move on from creating content for specific platforms to focus on short-form video

Given the rise of short-form video, agencies that focus on the format, rather than specific platform expertise, will reap the rewards.