Did anyone else catch the Gadget Show last night? It provided an absolute masterclass in online marketing. The presenters were given a challenge of “achieve online fame in three weeks flat”.
The first presenter – Suzi – went to an established online marketing agency here in Birmingham – Tamba Internet that thought they knew what they were doing…. They created a “viral game” that would publicise her. (and what’s more, the link to the game from their site opens in a new window for crying out loud!) Now the first they got wrong was allowing the presenter to make the “pay off” an “accidental” video clip of her getting changed with “accidental” movements of the other presenters hands covering up her naughty bits. Erm – sorry.. – this is interesting to me how?! In an era of celebrities hardcore sextapes leaking onto the net, how the hell is this gonna engage? This is pitched at the level of maximum crapness and patheticness; for anyone not used to these sex tapes it is just enough to shock; for anyone well used to the sex tapes it is utterly incapable of titilating in anyway… – and the agency should have told the presenter this! They failed in their duty to their client of stopping them from making a horrendous decision that would actually damage them!
Then the agency compounded this error by an order of magnitude, by making a game of such undescribable boring-ness that I wanted to poke myself in the eye with a pen to make it go away. It consists of the presenter reading out the name of shiny-shines – “Ipod!” – “DVD player!” – and then the player has to click on them on some shelves behind her. (and after playing it, it is actually quicker to get to the “naughty” video by losing! – if you just let the timer run down then the game ends – and you get the same pay-off for losing that you do for winning – but a hell of a lot quicker!) These idiots utterly fail to understand playability and usability; they do not understand gameplay or how to make something interesting and compelling and I failt to see how they stay in business.
They fall for the classic, basic beginners error; just because you can do something on the net doesn’t mean that you should… – of that if you go ahead and do it anyway just because you have the technology does not mean to say that a fetid dingoes kidney in the real world is any less of a fetid dingoes kidney just because it is an online Flash game that is an emailable viral marketing campaign.
Content, content, CONTENT!!
Postscript; this is how much these jokers fail to get the point; in their news article to plug their inclusion in the show they do not even link to the online game!