In the video game industry companies are always trying to find unique ways to market their product. However, marketing is all encompassing and can range from the simple name of a product to a terrible commercial that engages absolutely nobody. A lot of the time these marketing screw-ups take place at E3 where a publisher or console manufacturer has chosen the wrong representative to handle their business — Jamie Kennedy is a great example of this. Our industry is filled with poor choices and nights a lot of us will never remember, but when marketing teams came up with these ideas not only did an entire industry wonder, “WTF?” but they also made it possible that we never forget they happened.
Here are some of the most controversial, confusing, and downright stupid marketing strategies over the last two console generations.
When Nintendo revealed to the world that its follow-up console to its successful Nintendo Wii would be the “Wii U,” many gamers around the world couldn’t understand the approach. This one terrible decision has probably not only lost Nintendo thousands of sales, but the confusion its caused to casual gamers is likely to never be undone in time to save the console. Most people I know think the Wii U is just the gamepad attachment for the Wii. It’s funny because when you actually see the commercials for the device or even see advertisements for it, that’s pretty much the idea being put across. Nintendo screwed up with this one and they’re still trying to dig out of the hole.
Anyone remember back when the PlayStation 3 was struggling to sell units and Sony was making these random commercials that nobody understood? They were awful. My personal favorite was the crying baby doll in the middle of an empty room. It made absolutely no sense and I honestly thought that maybe Sony had just gone bat shit crazy . A lot of people forgot about these commercials because Sony redeemed themselves through Kevin Butler, VP of Everything, but I’ll never forget…they’ll always be a part of my PlayStation memories.
Xbox One Turns On
Microsoft recently ran an Xbox One ad in GameStop’s flyers that demonstrated how unique its console truly is. Honestly, if we’re being upfront about this, Microsoft screwed up by naming its console the Xbox One like Nintendo did the Wii U. However this advertisement is just crazy. It’s looks as though Microsoft is trying to sell you the idea that its console is great because you can turn it off and on. Then it goes on to tell you that the $100 device you’re being forced to buy isn’t even needed to play the console. Well played, well played.