Why advertising and video games are the perfect filler for this rad Venn diagram I made

Video games are awesome. We love video games. We’ll play video games all weekend until we stink and there’s crumbs everywhere. But what do video games really do for us? Or for the world? Or for abandoned kittens in Somalia? Mostly jack. Sorry video games. I’ll admit my thumb-eye coordination rocks now, but I’ve gained 5 pounds since I bought Fallout 3 so it evens out.

Advertising, however, is universally hated. No one likes ads. Especially the ones they play during your online videos that are 40 million times louder than the show but only last 20 seconds and can’t be paused so you just have to mute them and sit tight until Star Trek is back on so you can then pause and go to the bathroom. God those guys are idiots. And yeah, I watch Star Trek on YouTube. Gene Roddenberry didn’t see that one coming! Ha. Anyway. Advertising sucks except for one instance: when it actually makes you do something. Laugh, think, buy Clorox, stop driving with a 40 hangin out the window, or donate five bucks to homeless penguins. In those cases, we love advertising. (And by “we” I mean you, me, penguins, the State of California and/or the suits cashing in on your new bleach purchase. Let’s not limit ourselves.)

If you’re starting to think these two industries sound like perfect compliments and that I must be retarded for suggesting that this is anything new because there’s like 400 companies who are already making hybrid ad-game thingies, then hold your horses. Good job keeping up with the latest ad-game-lovechild news though. This blog is about one thing and one thing only. These three things:

One-way advertising is dead. If you think the “New and Improved!” lint shaver in the ad someone left on the seat next to you on the BART train seems one-way, it’s not. Even at 3am in a tunnel somewhere underneath Market Street, you can look up that lint shaver and find out if it really is new and improved, if it’s made using child labor, if it’s available used for half the price, and what kind of warranty it comes with, just in case the 57 guys who gave it a four-star review were wrong. If you’re making ads and not taking that into account, I genuinely hope you’ve been in a coma since about 2000, because otherwise I don’t want you tarnishing my blog with your wrinkly, beady eyes. Everything is now interactive, which is good because interaction gets consumers more involved, more loyal, more connected with each other, and gives them the chance to contribute their own suggestions and ideas – which, by the way, don’t always suck. Interaction is awesome. But it’s hard to swing it your way, because you have to make your message worth it for people to bother spending time with.

The ultimate masters of getting people to spend time doing things are, by the way, video game makers. Just ask my flab.

So hey ad people, hey video game people: we have a lot to learn to from each other. Especially if we wanna have jobs in five years.

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