Monday, February 29, 2016

Marketing Gimmicks I think are cheap...

"But wait!!" I live in a house that runs cable tv for most hours of the day. The Internet is so ubiquitous, we rarely use the term's just an extension of life. Either way, with the ability to make one-click orders from your phone or pc, it baffles me why tv commercials still do this gimmick. I'm glad I watched the whole commercial to get the deal. If I had picked up the phone, I may have paid full price!

Out-of-genre shots in marketing. The slick action shots in this Paul Blart fat-guy-comedy trailer are just incongruous. I'm not saying we shouldn't have quality parts to a movie, but I think it's a cheap laugh.

I...just made you watch that. This lame contrivance is related to the "least expected" lazy humor. Remember that foul-mouthed bear Ted? What about the cute white girl Sarah Silverman who cusses like a sailor? These lousy acts are funny because bad words are coming from where you least expect them.

Next up: ultra-HD-uber-colorful-commercials-with-super-crisp-colors-and-graphics that take no loading time, during your choppy, constantly buffering streaming videos. I get it, we need sponsors, but (internet speed) throttling is wrong. (Source:, especially on 3G)

Teaching ESL, you run into this everywhere.
Now, the next one is a humdinger for friends and other folk who want to call me a hypocrite. *Takes a breath.* Websites that hide everything behind an even-free login. I_don't_want_to create an account before I know what your site is about. I'm talking to you, Pintrest! I'm preemptively attacking myself because once I get a big website, I'll hide content behind a login. That's right, friends, get ready to throw this one in my face!

Music tropes. For a while, there were parodies of the flat, blasting trumpets from the Inception trailer, and now all action movie trailers use this. In comedies, you know the black characters are on screen because it sounds like 80s rap instrumentals with record scratching. Me, Myself and Irene, one of my favorite comedies, is a great example of this, though I can't find a clip to prove. Towards the end of the movie, his three black sons show up in a helicopter and save the day to this music. Other examples are the saxophone to tell your stupid ass the movie is supposed to be funny. And don't forget that it's a spooky comedy because there are pizzicato stringed instruments. Get outta here with that corny stuff! I'm not going to pick on every single genre and music type, but I have seen these a bit too often and wonder if it's time for an update. The trope with the strong trumpets and male choir for a swords and sandals flick never gets old, though. Always cool.

This article made it pretty far without a video game reference.

Pre-orders. The granddaddy of them all in my orb-clutching-gesture-causing marketing gimmicks. Fuck pre-orders. I see that it's a good gauge for how many games will sell, that's very important to the company. But how often do we get games that could have used another week of bug-testing because of "Day-1" releases? The company makes a decision that the million preorders means we want a buggier game now, more than a polished game next week. There is one exception to this, and that's companies that simply lower the price for preordering. Amazon Prime members can get select presales for $47.99, which is slick. Bonus gripe: why is digital content the same price as physical?

Season passes are another bullshit marketing ploy. That's where you plunk down another $20-60 on the game to ensure you get the often-tiny expansions to the game. You get an extra 10% of content for another 30% of what you paid initially. Some games are so great, you don't want them to end, and DLC is a blessing. However, the most frustrating part about these is that the season pass often go on sale for ~50% right after the first season release, meaning early adopters simply get financially punished for not waiting to purchase it. Thrifty Mark don't like that. Don't like that one bit. So, I never buy season passes until after their first release / price drop.

I hope to kick out some positive examples of great marketing troupes in the coming weeks! What are your favorites and least favorites?

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