'Black' Launched WIth Microsite Game And Stealth-Like Tactics


To promote the new, first person shooter EA game, Black, Freestyle has launched My Black Valentine. Stereotypical connotations of the word "black" and "shoot" aside, the microsite helps those who are without love during Valentine's day get their anger out by shooting things. It's simple enough, fun for a few minutes and you can send it to a friend which, by current definition, makes it a viral. At least that's what Freestyle says.

To promote the microsite itself, Freestyle has engaged in the usual stealth tactics including, according to an email from Freestyle, "instigating chatter on myspace.com, utilizing yahoo personals and facebook.com, and seeding stills and videos on Google video, youtube.com and flickr.com." Is it just us or do these tactics seem a bit shady? Or are we just dumb and these are really cool advertising tactics? Also, is it just us or does anyone else think all these games that require the player to kill, Kill, KILL and then blow the fucking head off the dead guy after he's already dead a bit, oh, dumb, pointless and not quite helpful in delivering an appropriate message to kids?

Sermon over. In terms of the campaigns viability, success and acceptance among those who love to call anything other than traditional advertising a very bad thing, we'd say it depends entirely on how Freestyle approaches each of these channels and what type of messages they deliver. While posing as something other than yourself in a forum might be a bad thing, posting a few images from the game on Flickr may not be bad at all. While creating fake profiles on Yahoo might be bad, uploading a few clips from the game to YouTube might be perfectly acceptable. It's all in the details, baby.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Games, Guerilla, Online, Opinion, Viral   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.



If this campaign was truly viral, it would have caught Adrants etc. attention without the agency having to send you a lame press release about how they underhandedly tried to spread the word. It sounds like they sent you a confession;; so much for honesty eh?

Posted by: Dave on February 10, 2006 1:26 PM

fix link.

Posted by: psymunkey on February 10, 2006 2:11 PM

Nice idea, but it. is. painfully. slow. Only had the patience to shoot the teddy bear.

Posted by: Pat on February 10, 2006 3:01 PM

This site rules! To the guy above, get a real computer. My PC is 3 years old and the site plays perfectly.

Posted by: Hater on February 10, 2006 11:24 PM

I think they mean it was "viral" in the sense they aren't using traditional forms of advertising to make consumers aware of it. They probably posted it on Adrants because this is a global advertising forum, where ideas are shared with other industry professionals. And "honesty"? LOL, it's advertising!

Posted by: Chris on February 10, 2006 11:40 PM

"And "honesty"? LOL, it's advertising!"

That's exactly the attitude that sets us back two steps for every good campaign thats out there.

Viral marketing without transparency is so 2005.

Posted by: Jordan on February 14, 2006 10:48 AM