Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Odd Marketing

I'm kind of torn about reporting bad marketing incidents. On the one hand, I hope that we can learn how NOT to market by some examples. On the other hand, just by linking to these examples, am I not showing that this "bad" marketing is actually getting more attention? Upon consideration, this is like a small child acting badly in order to get attention. Yes, your parent will pay attention to you, but is it the kind of attention you want? And do you get rewarded or punished for your bad behavior? I like to think that bad marketing gets punished by bad sales... but usually marketers are at their best when using their skills to market themselves within an organization, so they spin their bad efforts as good ones and hope the manager isn't paying close attention.

Which is all a preface to this example of odd marketing for a game based on the Prison Break TV series. OK, sending an interesting package to a reporter can get you a story... but really, a bar of soap and the message "grab your ankles" for a prison game? Classy, very classy. That might be the kind of remark you make to a friend that you know will laugh at it, but you woldn't say it to a stranger you're hoping will write a story for you. Would you?

Just like using pole dancing as a marketing tool, this may have worked when the only market for games was 15-year-old boys of all ages, and that also described all of the journalists. Now, though, when the highest growth is in a market where the average gamer is a 43-year-old woman, the sophomoric guy-humor approach is far too limiting.

Oh, and now Nintendo gets into the act with this piece of marketing for the new DSi XL. I guess I know what Nintendo's marketing is concerned about. I guess they've decided to give up on appealing to female buyers.

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