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Marketing the video game

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Marketing the video game

  1. 1. Marketing the Video Game An effective marketing campaign relies on careful long term planning to create hype and a desire on the part of the target audience. • Strategy will involve convergence – the bringing together of a number of techniques and technologies – poster campaign/promotion via magazines like Play Gamer – involving reveal/preview/review over at least three months’ worth of magazines – remember, the reveal can last longer. The opinions given in these magazines are trusted by the gaming community – they have built up a reputation. This is an example of the Two Step Flow Theory – audiences will respond to the words of opinion leaders.
  2. 2. • Poster campaigns – look at the campaign for Grand Theft Auto 5 – posters – vast campaign e.g. posters featuring different characters, billboard style – on the sides of buildings – with the release date – banner posters hung down multi-story office buildings, printed on office block windows etc. Remember, this game had a huge budget – rumoured to be $265 million and $150 million of that went on marketing. The Avengers movie had a budget of $220 million, although another $150 million was spent on advertising. • • Note the use of consistent iconography across various media platforms to help create brand recognition.
  3. 3. • Grand Theft Auto 5 is, by any measuring stick, a massive success. It is on the way to earning the title “phenomenon” as it continues to score records and shatter sales expectations. In fact, the game has done so well that it has set seven new Guinness World Records. • • The records are (courtesy of GameSpot): • Best-selling action-adventure videogame in 24 hours • Best-selling videogame in 24 hours • Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion • Fastest videogame to gross $1 billion • Highest grossing videogame in 24 hours • Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours • Most viewed trailer for an action-adventure videogame
  4. 4. • While all the records are impressive, the one that really stands out is the game’s sprint to $1 billion in three days, making it the fastest entertainment property – not just video game – to reach this milestone. • • That means that regardless of the cost of the product, a video game earned just as much (and may end up earning considerably more) than some of the biggest films of all time. Throw whatever asterisk you like on that figure, but the bottom line is that a video game just became the most profitable form of entertainment of the year (so far). Shares in Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, almost doubled within a year.
  5. 5. • ‘By any sort of commercial scale, Grand Theft Auto is easily Scotland’s largest cultural export ever. The series has sold something like 135 million copies so far,’ said Scottish Games Network’s Brian Baglow to The Scotsman. • ‘The series has come on not just in leaps and bounds, but in long jumps since then. It’s become far more than the sum of its parts, it’s a fully global phenomenon. This is the fifth major release, and the nice thing is that all of them have been made here in Scotland.’ • • Although the London-born Dan and Sam Houser are the lead writers and producers for Grand Theft Auto, the franchise has always been made in Scotland. • Development studio Rockstar North is based in Edinburgh, but started life in Dundee as DMA Design – where it made popular 16-bit games such as Lemmings and Unirally
  6. 6. • Interviews (creators and voice actors etc) and promotion and artwork – press – newspapers/specialist magazines – television – internet – gaming/comics conventions like the New York Comicon 2013 e.g. panel interview with three ‘characters’ from the game, then uploaded to YouTube as an official video by IGN.com, an entertainment website that comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment; including major video game platforms, and other forms of entertainment such as television, comic books, and films.
  7. 7. • Trailers – on TV/in cinemas/online newspapers (like The Guardian in the UK)/gaming sites/YouTube/Rockstar/GTA website = whole campaign involving teaser trailers/full trailers and others, like a trailer for a fictional cop show that discusses the gangs in the game. • • Carefully constructed trailer campaign - the first sets up a series of enigmas and drops clues about the game and more information is released as the campaign progresses – e.g. the second gives more insight into the three protagonists. The fourth trailer was the official trailer – featuring the key narrative, characters and shows the game to be a fast-paced and action-packed title, with high-speed chases, explosions, low-flying jet planes and sky diving all featured.
  8. 8. • Of course, this game is a FRANCHISE and has built up an audience and a relationship of trust with that audience and the gaming community in general over the past few years. Rockstar has become a recognised and trusted BRAND – guaranteeing audiences a certain kind of pleasure. • • The website – a promotional hub. We now live in a world where there are more devices connected to the internet than there are people – and while this doesn’t mean that everyone is connect ed to the internet, it does mean that the internet has become a major source of information. Note it links to the Rockstar parent site – and example of synergy – promoting the company’s other products.
  9. 9. • GTA 5 – Viral marketing and Guerilla Marketing • • Viral marketing is a broad concept, but it is essentially utilizing online social networks to share marketing content. • Guerrilla marketing is the use of unconventional advertising, which often does not appear to be marketing, to spread ideas. • Put these two together and you have online marketing done in a highly innovative way, that is not obviously an advertisement.
  10. 10. • 1. Rockstar created its own social network, Lifeinvader, that was set in the world of GTA 5. An obvious parody of Facebook, GTA fans can create their own account and access it both in the real world and video game world. The social network’s ads are just that: they advertise all the exciting activities that can be done in GTA 5. There is, of course, Rockstar’s famous controversial humour to engage users and encourage sharing. Speaking of sharing, the only social media sharing buttons you will see on the official website are to share content on Lifeinvader.
  11. 11. • 2. iFruit • The other company to be parodied was Apple when Rockstar released their iFruit app. The app allows players to customize in-game vehicles and train pets from their phone. The effectiveness of this is all about using the app to blur the lines between the real world and the world of GTA 5 to generate word-of- mouth marketing around the internet.
  12. 12. • Rockstar still used traditional advertising techniques – such as trailers, billboards and press coverage – for the core of their campaign. This highlights the importance of never relying on guerrilla marketing and appreciating that your entire target market often can’t be reached through one marketing method.
  13. 13. • It is this integration of both viral guerrilla marketing and conventional marketing that has been highly effective. This can be explained by the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), depicted in the diagram . • If the target market is able and motivated to process information, it means they are active on the internet and willing to engage with Rockstar online so they are exposed to the viral marketing, enjoy browsing the parody websites and using the iPhone app - likely to be the gamers in their teenage years or twenties. According to the model, the most effective way to market to them is through the central route. This requires a promotional message that is convincing and requires the target market to think more – hence the use and success of viral guerrilla marketing. • But what about the older gamer or the Mum/Mom and wife looking for a gift ? They are all potential customers of GTA 5. As they are unlikely to be motivated to engage with GTA 5′s online content – nor even aware of it – this market is best targeted through the peripheral route. Successfully using the peripheral route method depends on exciting and attractive advertising. Therefore, the billboards and TV trailers embedded in this post are mainly targeted at this demographic
  14. 14. • Simply, combining marketing that uses both the central route and peripheral route means you almost can’t go wrong! • Another example of viral marketing - • • Promotional short film for Assassin’s Creed 2 uploaded to YouTube: live-action 14 minute film packed with beautiful special effects. Within a week had over 1 million views on YouTube. • • Because of the length of the video, this live-action short makes the potential players and audience connect emotionally with the characters on the game, and that will probably make the chances of them buying the game higher.

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