8 Epic Fails in Videogame Marketing

8 Epic Fails in Videogame Marketing

Sometimes videogame marketing goes a little crazy, as these eight examples demonstrate.

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Thats a pretty good list.

Though i would argue that the Ocean incident isnt actually videogame marketing, no doubt it was a PR disaster but it wasnt from a promotional event or tactic like the rest of the list.

Also, no love for the free petrol promo for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in England that saw people queueing up in thier cars for miles just to get a free refill?

No mention of the Hitman Absolution facebook thingy? You could take out a "hit" on somebody from options off of a list, which IIRC included things like "small penis" and "small tits". Still though, that Xbox One marketing was by far the absolutely worst PR I've seen in my entire life, not just limited to gaming.

I would throw in the Wii U's poor marketing in there somewhere.

It's funny that even a decapitated goat doesn't quite measure up to the debacle that was the XBone's unveiling. (I'm sure the goat would disagree, but... hey, he's dead.) Sony's was just bizarre; Microsoft dropped every last ball that could be dropped, right onto their toes. The cocksure tone-deafness the company displayed was the stuff of legend.

Triple bonus points to Sony for coming out with the perfect "commercial" afterwards:

Man, the Christoforo debacle was stuff of legends. This is why popcorn was invented, so we can enjoy assholes like this crash and burn in such a spectacular way of epic proportions.

What, no mention of "John Romero is about to make you his bitch"?

Well when you're on a cocaine high, every idea seems like a good idea.

Johnny Novgorod:
I would throw in the Wii U's poor marketing in there somewhere.

I think you have to HAVE marketing before it can be judged. The WiiU just sort of sits there.

The Ocean Marketing thing still makes me cringe.

That Hitman: Conviction thing is just next level dumb, I mean all these ideas were dumb (and fucking disgraceful in the case of the goat one) but THAT could have got some one killed! No piece of media, especially one as meeeh as Conviction, is worth that.

Johnny Novgorod:
I would throw in the Wii U's poor marketing in there somewhere.

The Wii U didn't have poor marketing, it had NO marketing, at least not here in the UK.

1 Bad Decision Writers on Hobbyist Websites Should Avoid

1: Using the phrase "Epic Fail" in any context to describe anything.

Otherwise, good article.

PunkRex:

Johnny Novgorod:
I would throw in the Wii U's poor marketing in there somewhere.

The Wii U didn't have poor marketing, it had NO marketing, at least not here in the UK.

JCAll:
I think you have to HAVE marketing before it can be judged. The WiiU just sort of sits there.

I stand 100% corrected.

Showing, once again, that gaming has a LOOOOOOOOONG way to go. Most of this is just terrible because it looks so desperate and juvenile. Like watching a bunch of old men trying to guess what "the kids are into."

Well, John Romero once again failed to make someone his bitch, as these all beat the Daikatana magazine ad, if only a little.

The gunman actor and the balloon dumping remind me of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie campaign that caused a massive bomb scare in Boston. (It was 2007, long before the tragic marathon bombing, but still with the 9/11 fears lingering.) Two guys put LED Mooninites signs up in random points around Boston. Of course, people reported them as bombs.

Aiddon:
Showing, once again, that gaming has a LOOOOOOOOONG way to go. Most of this is just terrible because it looks so desperate and juvenile. Like watching a bunch of old men trying to guess what "the kids are into."

I think some ad agencies in general have a long way to go, no matter if they are contracted to advertise games or not. There are so many recent stories about ill thought out ad campaigns for a variety of products.

Arguably, the advertisers were going for the "any publicity is good publicity" strategy for many of these situations. Why else would they bother doing half of the items on this list.

I'm increasingly convinced that video games companies need to institute a new and probably most important position in all of their companies.
The idea barometer.

This would be a person who is just paid to sit in a room reading a newspaper.
When any member of staff comes up with an idea that passes muster among their usual methods they then must present it to the idea barometer.
If they just look at you with disinterest then return to reading their paper, you have the all clear.
If they roll up that news paper, bat you on the nose and yell "NO!", it's back to the drawing board.
Persistent or defiantly bad ideas would result in the barometer dragging the worker to the scene of his crime and rubbing his nose in the offending article while speaking in a firm, deep tone.

This all might seem a bit patronizing, but you have to get the basics right in a way they'll understand.

I have other ideas on how to fix the gaming development community involving flea collars and a neutering program.

Wasn't there a GTA5 promotion where they pretended to rob banks and posed as masked criminals with AKs on the street?
That didn't end well either, iirc.

Mikeybb:
I'm increasingly convinced that video games companies need to institute a new and probably most important position in all of their companies.
The idea barometer.

This would be a person who is just paid to sit in a room reading a newspaper.
When any member of staff comes up with an idea that passes muster among their usual methods they then must present it to the idea barometer.
If they just look at you with disinterest then return to reading their paper, you have the all clear.
If they roll up that news paper, bat you on the nose and yell "NO!", it's back to the drawing board.
Persistent or defiantly bad ideas would result in the barometer dragging the worker to the scene of his crime and rubbing his nose in the offending article while speaking in a firm, deep tone.

This all might seem a bit patronizing, but you have to get the basics right in a way they'll understand.

I have other ideas on how to fix the gaming development community involving flea collars and a neutering program.

You had me at rolled up newspaper, where do I sign? Does the position allow for the donning of a stylish Victorian smoking pipe? :D

OT: These creative marketing execs seem to get insufferably smug pretty easily it appears. It is nice to see them crash n' burn at these vital learning periods. Ah the sweet smell of smouldering scolded smug!
Ahem, anyway wasn't there some sort of bomb scare in Australia the tail end of 2013 caused by ubisoft for possibly a Watchdogs promotion being an unmarked parcel with a cryptic message, sent to a press outlet? Not sure on the details of it all. It doesn't beat the stupidity portrayed here though. That EA promotion legal disclaimer is hilairious. It should have been the butt of a modern satirical sketch. Unfortunately for EA, it was not.

I think 3 and 4 merit the jingle reserved for the videogame industry "special" moments:

Let's all laugh
At the industry
That never learns anything
Tee hee hee

008Zulu:
Well when you're on a cocaine high, every idea seems like a good idea.

It's funny and impressive - it wasn't often (to say the least) that the egalitarianism of trash talking was brought into a game developer's lexicon.

But don't you know, John, that you're supposed to be a GAMING GOD? You're above us, man... so your comment must be cocaine-fueled ramblings.

Now John Carmack - there's a guy who understands the hierarchy and just where he presides from it. There's no trash talking up in the air he breathes.

I'd add the Dead Space 2 "Your Mom hates this game" ad campaign to the list and the 2010 Konami E3 press events as well.

Fail is a verb, not a noun.

Like MikeyBB said above, the industry needs a job like that. I too suggested something similar... expect I would yell "Are you fucking stupid" and slap them on the back of the head. That'll learn 'em quicker.

But yeah, some of these are really bad. How anyone ever thought paying an actor to walk into a bar, waving a gun about was a good idea just floors me.

Mikeybb:
I'm increasingly convinced that video games companies need to institute a new and probably most important position in all of their companies.
The idea barometer.

This would be a person who is just paid to sit in a room reading a newspaper.
When any member of staff comes up with an idea that passes muster among their usual methods they then must present it to the idea barometer.
If they just look at you with disinterest then return to reading their paper, you have the all clear.
If they roll up that news paper, bat you on the nose and yell "NO!", it's back to the drawing board.
Persistent or defiantly bad ideas would result in the barometer dragging the worker to the scene of his crime and rubbing his nose in the offending article while speaking in a firm, deep tone.

This all might seem a bit patronizing, but you have to get the basics right in a way they'll understand.

I have other ideas on how to fix the gaming development community involving flea collars and a neutering program.

I had an idea similar to the during one of the more recent "EA is being stupid again" kerfuffles. Though mine involved Tyrian Lanister with a license to smack the crap out of the offender and then tell them how stupid they were and they should be ashamed of themselves. If they were repeat offenders, he had permission to jump on the table, open his fly and piss on the offending suit in front of everyone, then walk away like nothing happened.

Aw no, the Resident Evil meat stand was awesome! They even had a Umbrella Laboratory out the back you could go in.

Dalisclock:

I had an idea similar to the during one of the more recent "EA is being stupid again" kerfuffles. Though mine involved Tyrian Lanister with a license to smack the crap out of the offender and then tell them how stupid they were and they should be ashamed of themselves. If they were repeat offenders, he had permission to jump on the table, open his fly and piss on the offending suit in front of everyone, then walk away like nothing happened.

...and somehow that still offers the boardroom an air of dignity.

I'm seriously starting to think instead of "Yes"men, every office needs a designated "No"man.
Someone to kick the legs out from under the lame ideas before they get pushed out of the door.

 

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