Game Maker Spams Game Blog to Promote XBox Release

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Today, Weblogs Inc. blog Joystiq reports receiving a slew of emails last week, apparently from individual readers tipping the site to the appearance of the game Perfect Dark Zero at Wal-Mart's Xbox 360 kiosks over the weekends.

Joystiq tracked all the emails back to the same IP address - a dead giveaway all the emails, even though they came from different names and email addresses, came from the same place. This is standard practice for spoof/spam/sham marketers who haven't yet figured out how to spoof their IP address prior to sending their marketing spam. Would it have been so bad to simply send Joystiq and honest email from Perfect Dark Zero's PR agency or their ad agency telling the editor that, gee, your readers might find it interesting that the product will be demoed at Wal-Mart this weekend? Why bother with all the "tips" when a simple email would have done the trick. Joysiq, knowing its readers interest in this product, would have certainly written about it anyway without having to have been duped.

It's hard to grasp the mindset of some marketers who, facing a media landscape with more enthusiast and niche sites willing to gush at length about particular topics like never before, would stoop to such clandestine stealth methods when these sites are just dying to gush forth endlessly about their area of expertise. Clearly, some marketers remain clueless about weblogs, fan sites, or whatever name you want to slap on this whole new genre of consumer generated media. Wake up and smell the blog, marketers!

by Steve Hall    Oct-31-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Word of Mouth   

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Comments



Comments

Most of marketing seems to be about deception.

"You NEED this product."

"This one is BETTER than all the others."

"It's GOOD for you."

I think deception is just part of the marketing mindset. :)

Posted by: Dave Goodman on October 31, 2005 3:51 PM

I think too that a lot of marketers and PR agencies just don't "get" blogs yet. Probably because they don't bother reading them.

Podcasts, same thing. How many marketers who talk about podcasts have actually listened to one? I've been looking for a good podcast for ages and can't find anything worth listening to.

At the end of the day though, cardinal rule of PR. Don't lie to a reporter. Heck, don't lie to anyone. A teaser campaign is one thing, this is something else entirely.

Posted by: Sean on October 31, 2005 5:20 PM

They should take heed from Microsofts own PR work with the 360 and Halo 2.

Posted by: Rob Mortimer on October 31, 2005 5:37 PM

On a side note - Joystiq's not what I'd call a blog any more. They are a press site (and doing a hell of a job promoting the 360 these days) calling themselves a blog. There's nothing "blog-like" about them anymore. Even the tone has become one that's more corporate

As for the spam emails - that's just sad. I thought the Microsoft PR team knew better.

Posted by: Xeno on October 31, 2005 5:47 PM

The problem is that there are too many people who don't get marketing out there doing marketing. Real marketers don't use deception, sure they place their offering in the best possible light - but this is the like making sure you comb your hair and brush your teeth before you go on a date.

I agree that most marketers, and most companies, don't get blogs yet. There is a movement in that direction though, and I don't think it will take long before blog marketing is taught in marketing MBA programs.

Legitimate marketers do not spam. It's just a stupid thing to do.

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