What do you think of GOG.com's recent PR stunt?

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Modern advertising is very

Modern advertising is very complex. Often, a commercial is not so much trying to sell a particular product, but rather a "brand" or "brand identity." They want you to "get to know" a brand, almost as if you would a good friend or at least a TV personality. Most brands targeting us want us to think of them as witty, sarcastic, smart, politically incorrect, etc. The kind of folks we wish we could be--or at least the type of people we'd like to hang out with and emulate.

Most of us have fallen prey to this type of marketing. We think we "know" Apple. We think we "know" Sony, or whatever. It's almost as if these are persons. In reality, of course, they are very complex organizations with sophisticated arrangements and God only knows how many levels of hierarchies, investors, agencies, etc. Often enough a "brand" has little or nothing to do with the design or manufacture of the products; it's just amorphous "brand identities" floating out there somewhere. Marlboro has done a good job of linking their product to the lonely cowboy, watching the world go by with that bemused, ironic expression. They even have a ranch where they send folks for vacations and to savor the Marlboro "flavor country" and all of that nonsense.

It is so tempting to try to give these corporations souls. I know I've fallen victim to idealistic thinking many times regarding my favorite companies. The bitter reality is that these things are run by soulless organizations who have only one reason to live: to make money. I saw a documentary once (I think it was called "The Corporation") that was quite accurate--if these corporations were people, they'd be complete sociopaths. I don't know how many times I've talked to folks who made some of my favorite games, or companies I thought I "knew" and actually cared about, to finally encounter that smug little asshole who just shrugs and says "We're just out to make money. We're glad you like our product, but it's just about the money."

It's sort of that disgusting feeling you get from going to a strip club (at least that's the way I feel when I'm dragged to one). I'm painfully aware that the women are only pretending to like me for only one reason: my cash. That knowledge always sickens me, and that's why I avoid these places and don't enjoy booth babes or any of that nonsense.

As far as I'm concerned, you shouldn't be making games if all you care about is money. Your games will suck, even if the marketing hype and bullshit is enough to "move product" onto idiots. Make games because you love games and the people who play them. Only then will you achieve anything like greatness in this "industry." What an appropriate word for it, too. Industry--belching foul smoke and pollution. I prefer "field." Wonderful things grow in fertile soil, and thankfully, money isn't one of them.

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Commercials

Regarding commercials - I think that most of them have turned into entry level jobs for comedians. Commercials now appear to have the need to entertain you because commercials have always been boring in the past, right? Their point isn't to entertain. Their point is to SELL - even if it is boring!

The time most people talk about commercials is after the Super Bowl. I've heard people talk about Super Bowl commercials over the years. They always say, "Did you see the one with that guy that fell out of the tree?" or something like that. I can almost *always* respond, "Yeah! It was hilarious. Which product was it selling?" and the person that brought it up will say, "I don't know."

"Commercial Fail."

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Well said Rob

Well that was some lively discussion.

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Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Call me old fashioned lol!

It's been suggested in a recent comment on the original post that this is a sign of the type of PR and marketing ideas that are becoming more common practice. Get people pissed on purpose, get them talking, shock them so they have something to talk about IE: "There is no such thing as bad PR-Carl Williams. Sadly this may very well be true. Controversy = attention, attention = reaction. At the very least like it or not this stunt certainly got GOG a lot of attention and I would be lying if I did not admit that in all the trashing and smack talk about GOG's actions of late that I didn't notice at least a few posts along the lines of "What is GOG.com?" or "Who? huh, never heard of them" so for sure it has brought in some new people. Now as I write this they appear to be back up and fully functional, I guess in the end they achieved what they set out to do. I certainly am in the group that saw this whole thing as a very poor PR/Marketing concept. I WAS pretty sure there was more to it after reading the original announcement they posted about closing down but I tend to be a "read between the lines" kind of person, at the same time I still could not see a benefit regardless of if they are coming back or not. Then again, I really come from the school of thought of paying your money and getting professional service, value and professionalism in return, I know, we are a dying breed lol! It does unnerve me that a company would choose these steps as a marketing ploy, but then again I truly believe it is a reflection of marketing these days, consider television programing these day, gone for the most part are TV shows about values, strong moral's, ethics, family ties. These days it's all about "Reality Shows" none of which seem very "realistic" or shows about becoming a "Star" or shows about who has the most "Bling" or who can defeat their fellow man etc, by the same token look at 90% of commercials these days, they are just BAD. Most commercials and advertising, IF you can figure out what they are trying to sell seem to have a marketing foundation based on either "let's be as annoying as possible" or "Let's be really loud and IN YOUR FACE as possible" even ads that try to be funny really aren't, I don't CARE if my SWIFFER Dust broom is currently experiencing a romantic relationship, just show me the product and demonstrate clearly WHY I should choose it over competing products, don't yell at me, don't stun me with loud music and quick moving images, I don't care to be cool or EXXXTREEEEME!!!!!! Ah, yes well, sorry for the rant, I guess I just miss the concepts of value for your $$$. After all is said though, I will likely go back to GOG.com because dammit they currently are best at what they set out to do which is provide DRM free classic PC titles at great prices with extras and compatibility with modern Operating systems and prior to this stunt I found their service to be very good and professional. Their past history for me and my dealings with them so far gives them some leeway with me. I do not appreciate what they did, how they did it and their current videos "apologizing" while dressed in Monks robes and chattering on about repenting and asking forgiveness just rubs salt in the wound and confirms they still treat this matter as a joke despite reaction thus far, I only hope they simply has a PR model in place that they are seeing through for better or worse but at the same time they truly are seeing just how annoyed and disgruntled their customer base is and can only hope they realize from this point on the majority of us prefer not only value and good service but professionalism to, besides they deal with Classic PC titles we are not they youngergeneration sitting on XBOX LIVE trash talking (well mostly), we are mature people not "Extreme" teens!

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Earlier Discussion

Click here to see our earlier discussion. Please feel free to add your own comments about the stunt and/or poll here.

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