These are a few of my favorite things/marketing tactics
Posted by ajnystuen
Scrabble is my favorite game in the world, because of Scrabulous. I had never played Scrabble before, but a friend invited me to play Scrabulous on Facebook and I was hooked. Scrabulous was the only game I ever played on Facebook and I remember the day it just disappeared without any explanation. I never actually knew about the legal battles surrounding it. I never knew that it wasn’t run by Hasbro. I was just disappointed that I couldn’t play it anymore. So instead, my friends and I bought secondhand copies of the original Scrabble game from Goodwill and started playing in person.
After reading Qualman’s account in Socialnomics of Hasbro’s litigious reaction to the game, I am finding myself not wanting to support the company, which may be a little vindictive of me since it was early in the days of social media, and companies have really all had to adjust how they approach marketing. Social media simply has changed how we interact in most spheres, and it isn’t entirely fair to hold a company’s slow transition against them. But really, who wants to have anything to do with a company that punishes people for helping to promote their product?
As Qualman pointed out, Hasbro would have done better had they followed the examples of other companies and had endeavored to “beg, borrow and make better.” Hasbro could have taken a different tactic and been more successful. Companies need to adjust their thinking to understand that advertising happens differently through social media and their response needs to be about incorporating the efforts of their customers rather than attempting to control them.
It is interesting how even as companies are having to adjust their methods of advertising, they really don’t actually change. Qualman points out the rediscovered joys of product placement in his examination of ESPN’s fantasy football podcast. Basically, instead of commercials fully devoted to the product, it is becoming necessary to incorporate advertising into content that the customer actually wants to experience. It reminds me of eighties movies, where product placement was so blatant, though not obtrusive because it was incorporated into the content. Who can think of the movie ET without thinking about Reese’s Pieces?
Qualman posits that we may see a similar kind of product placement in E-books. Then not only would the story mention that the protagonist enjoys Diet Coke, but that it would have a link to take you to a website. I am happy to see that this idea has not come to fruition. While I think that advertising within enjoyable content is something that can be done well, there comes a point where I don’t want to be bothered by clunky advertising. If it infects my e-books, I think I will likely go back to buying giant mountains of books from Goodwill. Perhaps other people would not find it annoying, but the fact that this form of advertising has yet to transpire suggests that perhaps I am not alone in thinking that there needs to be a point where advertising stops.
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