Effectively using humor in marketing is tricky. If you know your target market well, humor is great linkbait. The most viral web phenomena to date have all been funny… to some people. The problem is knowing if the market for your website or app has a generally homogeneous sense of humor.
Sometimes we are so immersed in our personal subcultures that we fail to see how anyone can NOT get the jokes that we take for granted.
Nowhere is this becoming more of a problem in my media diet than in the realm of gamer humor. Something happened this past week that made me wonder if gamer humor has crossover potential or if the misapplication of gamer humor is going to become a problem now that gameification is the new the black.
Gameification may be encouraging game designers to apply the stock tools* of game design to applications that might be much better without even a whiff of Leeroy Jenkins’ chicken.
*If chainmail binkini and “<blank> of <blank>ing” jokes are any less of a stock game tool than “badges” I’ll eat my lush dwarven beard.
But Everyone I Know Thinks It’s Funny!
Obviously, the more edgy or weird your jokes are, the higher the risk/reward potential is for creating a spectacularly offensive dud or the next big viral joke. Geek culture may be cool now, but gamer culture is still a niche experience, regardless of our powerful self-referential presence on teh Interweb. Continue reading Gamer Humor for the Minor Illusion of Win
Gameplay during commercials may be an effective way to get more people to pay attention to sponsored ads on broadcast television. Interestingly, it is very rare to see any type of contest or game-like promotion to reward people for watching commercials, even though that behavior is highly desirable to broadcast advertisers.
- Can gameplay be used as incentives for attentive t.v. commercial viewing? Could games help television advertisers cultivate the interactive engagement and motivation that lead to direct response after ads are viewed?
- Are commercial games rare because games were not effective in this role in the past? Or is it because so many marketers assume any type of game has to involve an expensive prize or legal consultation to make sure the promotion is on the right side of gambling and lottery laws?
- What types of games would be compelling during live broadcast commercial breaks? What issues would need to be addressed to prevent people who did not watch the commercial from simply scraping the commercial contents from a web resource after the actual broadcast?
Zapping and Zipping Commercials into Extinction
Since the development of the home VCR, advertisers have been concerned with zipping—fast forwarding through commercials during recordings of sponsored television programs. Newer technologies have only increased advertiser paranoia that television viewers are prerecording shows and then skipping the commercial breaks. A similar concern was raised with the advent of remote controls which let users change the channel during commercial breaks with very little physical effort (zapping). Continue reading Could Gameplay Combat TV Ad Zapping and Zipping?