CAMPAIGN DIARY: I’M ONLY A PUNTER BUT

What is it with these video-game software sellers and the lazy way in which they advertise their products? They slap one action-packed screen-shot from the game and a curt headline like ’Bones of the Dead 3: it’s here’ on a poster and then give up and go home. Never mind the quality, feel the width - you couldn’t move this Christmas without bumping into them on cross-track or four-sheets, let alone the games mags, which were wall-to-wall with gems like, ’It’s here and this time it’s almost too real,’ or grainy pictures of the spray from the rear-end of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari, a small F1 97 logo and precious little else. Oh puh-leease.

What is it with these video-game software sellers and the lazy way

in which they advertise their products? They slap one action-packed

screen-shot from the game and a curt headline like ’Bones of the Dead 3:

it’s here’ on a poster and then give up and go home. Never mind the

quality, feel the width - you couldn’t move this Christmas without

bumping into them on cross-track or four-sheets, let alone the games

mags, which were wall-to-wall with gems like, ’It’s here and this time

it’s almost too real,’ or grainy pictures of the spray from the rear-end

of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari, a small F1 97 logo and precious little

else. Oh puh-leease.



Where is it written that the normal rules of advertising, like having an

idea, or letting people know what the product is about, don’t apply to

these jokers? Where would we be if films were ’advertised’ like

this?



(What do you mean, ’they are’ - which line do you find more descriptive

and enticing: ’Alien: it’s here’ or ’In space, no-one can hear you

scream ...’?)



It’s not as if the games were all so different that they could stand on

their own disks: see one Z Rally Screamer Deluxe ’97 poster and you’ve

seen ten.



And why do they spend more time getting their mates’ logos in than

worrying about what it all means, eh? Call us luvvies?



Sony excepted, there’s one game company with a vague idea of what

marketing is and even that’s a happy accident. Eidos bought Core

Design’s Tomb Raider prior to launch when it already featured one of the

game world’s first major female leads. They noticed that this could be a

selling point and set about selling it. As a result, of course, we now

have the immortal poster: ’Tomb Raider 2 starring Lara Croft. It’s

here.’



It’s not much, but it’s a start. So, come on folks, you spend stacks on

the visuals and even a little on the gameplay - how about spending

something (and that includes enough time) on the ads?



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