Listen, I don’t work in marketing.  I think I took one class in college for it, and I realized I had too much of a soul to do that sort of thing (zing!).  But if there’s anything I do know, it’s a not-good idea to create a promotion that’s going to give your detractors an easy opening to scoring all sorts of points.

Such as a famous bank that’s embroiled in scandal and bad loans deciding to host a Twitter ask me anything for the whole world to see.  It got so bad for JPMorgan Chase that this whole story will probably be on next year’s university financial fails exams.

Or perhaps a pretty popular MMO that wants to attract new players asking folks to record themselves pledging allegiance to that game with a script.  Tongue-in-cheek even so, this is a forehead-slapping bad move if you know anything about the internet community.  This… this is an outright dare to have people mock your game and company while giving them the tools with which to perform the act.  Like, it’s structured and everything with fill-in-the-blank insults.

Seriously, this whole story has my eyes doing a weird thing where one is squinting, the other one is bugging out, and my eyebrows keep twitching.  I cannot imagine why this got greenlit.

Listen, a sense of humor in marketing is great.  Creativity is great.  But you have to take a few minutes and ask yourselves at the end of every meeting, “Just how badly can our enemies take and use this against us?  Just how badly could it bite us on the butt?”  If that answer is “D’oh!” then perhaps drop the pledge of allegiance and cringingly awful taxi videos and do something cool with Asura instead.


  1. C. T. Murphy November 26, 2013 / 3:57 pm

    Too often marketers seem to assume the best in people, when they really should assume the worst.

  2. Stropp November 26, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    The same principle of commonsense applies to naming your children, for instance Anne Tanner, Richard Cranium, etc.

    Think before you do!

  3. mbp November 27, 2013 / 4:07 am

    @CT Murphy makes a good point about marketers naive assumptions. I think that lesson 101 for anyone working in marketing/advertising should be that the fourth wall of marketing has long since been well and truly torn down. Just about everybody knows that marketers are not being honest when they gush adoringly about their car or their perfume or their video game. Since viewers/readers/browsers know that this basic social contract of communication has been broken they will feel no obligation to respond nicely or constructively.

  4. Jeromai November 27, 2013 / 8:36 am

    I keep reading “Great MMO Migration” every time I check the reddit, and the brainwashing is starting to take effect, I fear.

    I’m starting to think about what other MMOs to migrate off to.

    This from a primarily GW2 player since the game launched. Colossal marketing fail, even worse than the completely inappropriate and not-even-nice metal noise (I cannot call it music, -Nightwish- is music and symphonic metal to boot) accompanying the tower of nightmares trailer.

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