Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Marketing A Guitar Hero

After almost two weeks of Guitar Hero World Tour, I can safely say that, despite a couple of obvious design flaws in the drum (with CYMBALS) set up, the thing rocks. Totally. What day is it?
Now, I have no idea how sales are going with the thing. I imagine that they're doing just fine. Video games are, as it would turn out, recession proof. They're right up there with cigarettes and alcohol. Doesn't matter how bad the economy is, people needs their smoke and people need their booze. And now people need something to do whilst smoking and drinking and so they're turned the the modern wonder that is the video game. Ah...bliss.

I don't know who is in charge of the marketing for this wonderment, but I'm wondering who they target with their ads. I'm guessing that more guys than chicks play Guitar Hero. (That's just how it is. Some chicks find out other chicks play Guitar Hero and they mock those chicks. Mock, mock, mock they do. With little icons, even! The nerve!) So, if your target audience is guys, and it's a game that they're already going to be wanting to play, how much advertising do you really need? And when you do advertise, what say you just do something so that they'll watch your commercial, OK?

This was the marketing guys first idea. A bunch of sports guys getting together and playing the game. A fine concept. But I'm a chick and regardless as to what kind, I'm here to tell you they need better looking sports guys. A-Rod and Kobe are adorable. They'd really make a cute couple if they jammed that way, you know? But then they throw in Tony Hawk on drums and Michael Phelps, who has the wingspan of a condor, on one of the guitars. Tony Hawk is wearing his skateboard helmet while playing the drums and it gives one the impression that this game might for the "special" consumer. And then when you first look at Michael Phelps, since it takes you a minute to remember that he won all of those gold medals in the regular Olympics and not the Special Olympics, and combine that with the helmeted Mr. Hawk there, and you start to wonder what kind of game this is! (And if you're me, you're also wondering what the chances are of Kobe and A-Rod hitting it off!)

But all of that oddness and matchmaking aside, at least they chose an uplifting song and pretty decent theme for the commercial that it works. Like I said, I highly doubt it's going to influence all that many people who weren't sure if they were going to buy the game or not to go out and buy it (especially since those in the commercial are portraying the consumers as Less Than 70 IQ-ers) just because of the commercial. You either get Guitar Hero or you don't (but you should) get Guitar Hero.

See what I mean? It's fun and all, but I don't think I'd be persuaded to buy the thing just because the two athletes and the two special guys all dance around in their underwear. So what would persuade someone to buy it? This:

Good Lord, how did Heidi Klum get involved with the Guitar Hero folks? Who cares?! I'll take two! (Two of the game! Geez. What'd you think I was thinking? OK, maybe I was thinking that. What's your point?)

But wait! It gets better. Turns out there was a Guitar Hero World Tour commercial that was banned! Yes, banned! Now if there's anything that's going to sell a product, it's banned marketing! Behold! The banned Guitar Hero World Tour commercial Sorry. Um, lost my chain of thought. Where was I?

It probably wouldn't have done much in the way of sales even if they had been allowed to go ahead with that commercial. No one would be able to pick themselves up off of the floor, mop up their drool, close their jaw, and drag themselves out to buy one after seeing that. It took me half an hour just to be able to finish this post, for cryin' out loud! Oh, it just makes me wonder what they will come up with next?

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