With 3 long days left until we're all back in Pandora, Gearbox has been extremely busy ramping up their marketing campaign. Similar to some Geico and Old Spice commercials, Borderlands 3 has been masquerading as a variety of different television ads, specifically a used car dealership, shampoo, and even a remote vacuum cleaner. All of this, as fans of the long-standing series may already well-know, is in an effort to promote as much mayhem and destruction as can be had (in-game, of course).
Not unlike the marketing for Rage 2 (though far more flashy and entertaining), Gearbox has ensured Borderlands 3 stands out apart from the rest of the crowd. With Gears 5 already out, in addition to Modern Warfare, Death Stranding, and Jedi: Fallen Order all slated for release within the next 2 months, a publicity boost through the use of an eye-catching ad campaign is certainly not unwarranted. Most new games tend to get a teaser trailer, a gameplay reveal, and maybe a few other 2-minute long trailers (unless you're CD Projekt Red or Rockstar and just do both in one).
Not Gearbox. The recent wave of marketing as their September 13th launch day approaches evokes a tongue-in-cheek look at the capitalistic nature of the industry, as well as the outright hilarious tone the game sets for its players. With Borderlands 3 having gone gold recently, Gearbox can do whatever it wants. CEO Randy Pitchford, on the other hand, should probably steer clear from Twitter.
While other games may try (and succeed) to promote their playability through visceral mission showcases or extravagant cut-scene-esque trailers, Borderlands 3 seeks to do things their own way. The iDustVac 2000 is a prime example, wherein a 1-800 TV ad opens with a man uselessly vacuuming hair and debris using an old machine, to which the voiceover says, "You need the iDustVac 2000; It sucks!" Without warning, a sledgehammer turns the tiny robot floor cleaner into a heaping pile of conduits and circuitry. The screen cuts out to display the atypical Borderlands mascot sitting on the couch, relaxing presumably before the eventual release.
It's not unlike Gearbox and Borderlands to go way over the top and it shows in these latest trailers. In a sense, they're almost challenging the industry as a whole, peering into the mega-constructs that make games possible: advertisement. Look at how The Witcher 3, though touted as Game of the Year and winning many various accolades, still remains heavily under the radar while Cyberpunk 2077 is the talk of the town. The third title in their massive Borderlands series might be among the most anticipated games of the year, but with competitors like Destiny 2's upcoming DLC Shadowkeep, it's better to stay ahead of the curve while also reminding players of the absolute chaos possible only in Borderlands 3.
Not only is the marketing a valuable place to pour resources into, but so too is protecting the IP itself. The fact that SupMatto's YouTube channel has up and vanished following a visit from private investigators sent by 2K over leaks is proof alone that their inside information is just as important to them as their outward branding. Borderlands definitely has its own voice, as so exemplified by these hilarious commercials, making Gearbox an unintentional agent of chaos.
Much like the Borderlands 3 advertisements on display, there's always something hidden in the background. In this case, of course, it's mayhem of the highest order. And the upcoming title will bring a lot of that and much more, allowing players countless weapons, hours of challenges, and a story filled with its own brand of wacky zaniness not seen anywhere else in this industry.
The chaos of Pandora awaits.