Gaming Brands cont.

Question: How many of you have seen the Gametap commercials on Adult Swim?

Do these commercials piss you off too?

Okay, maybe that's a little strong for it, but let's face it, 90% of ad agencies just don't “get” video games. What do I mean by “getting” video games?

Example: The Bubble Bobble commercial which many of you may have seen. Come on people! Everyone under 30 knows that the dragons in Bubble Bobble are going to the Cave of Monsters to rescue their girlfriends, not to eat things! Or look at the Deus Ex commercial too. Whoever wrote the copy for that clearly didn't know very much about the game. Anything they say could go for 70% of video games set in the future ever.

I'm well aware that “copywriters not knowing much about the product they need to write copy for” is not a new practice, and it's not limited to video games, but imagine this for a moment:

Instead of their current Bubble Bobble commercial, imagine if you just had a twenty-something guy in a cubicle, wearing a white, short sleeved button down shirt with a tie, hunched over, typing away at a computer, looking bored. The sounds of a modern office buzz around him. Phone rings, people talking, fax machines running, and just barely audible in the background is the Bubble Bobble music. The guy keeps plugging away at his computer, seemingly unaware, as the music slowly gets louder and louder. After 12 seconds or so, the guy has not reacted in any way to the music, and it's gotten quite loud by now, at which point the guy looks up, a little away from the camera, smiles, then nods knowingly. Immediately cut to the Gametap logo and slogan.

I'm not an ad exec, I'm not a copywriter, and I don't have too much of a directorial eye, but I swear, that commercial would kill. Why would it kill? Because everyone who played too much Bubble Bobble as a kid has incredibly fond memories of that music. I know this because I was one of those kids.

Frankly, I'm just calling out Gametap for being clueless, at least they're not patronizing. Penny Arcade already took care of that one better than I ever could.

Okay, how many of you have seen the WoW “What's your game?” commercials? These commercials, I feel, “get it”. As Malgayne has pointed out in his wowhead blog about them, in one fell swoop, they hit the Adult Swim sense of humor by picking a format and spokespeople ripe for parody, but also hit on popular enough spokespeople to scratch the itch for validation most gamers still have. I don't know who does Blizzard's ads, but either the agency themselves get it, or somebody at Blizzard is making them get it.

1 comment:

Sestren said...

I had problems with GameTap before that particular commercial theme. The whole company is an emulation service you have to pay for. Talk about not getting gamers - the gamers are playing what GameTap offers because 1. they own them already, or 2. they have ZSNES. So much for keeping up with the trends.

The commercials give off the same vibe that G4 did. Nevermind the fact that most of the show hosts had never seen a Game Boy. Their attitude was akin to "Gamers? Yeah, we know all about you."

I remember seeing print ads for some strategy guide company: something about a tier 7 dragon taking out your level 10 wizard and consequently your epic l00ts. Gah!