Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  ARGs: The Buzz Doesn’t Drive Itself  
 
 
Posted 2005-03-21 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
ClickZ's Sean Carton attempts to explain Alternate Reality Gaming to mainstream marketers in his latest Leading Edge column entitled "Alternate Reality Gaming and You." Carton says he's "covered games and advertising a lot lately," as if frequency coverage is somehow related to quality of coverage. Of course, it's not, as evidenced in his goofy advergaming column about Everquest II's /pizza tie-in.

Carton's "big picture" is flawed. It's true that Alternate Reality Gaming can be a more complex form of viral/buzz marketing, and that although this "fringe" form of media is ripe for exploitation, there are certain pitfalls to consider. But hazards such as ethics and brand-integration are only the least of the challenges to an ARG's success.

Carton fails to recognize the core value-proposition of an ARG: Inspirational game-play. Buzz works both ways. A bad game will fail, and either no buzz or bad buz will be generated. A good game has a better chance of success, and the viral message that is produced will be a positive one. If you want to use an ARG as a marketing vehicle, you're barking up the wrong tree if you think that your brand is the best thing about the experience. Successful ARGs are designed by gamers, not marketers.
 
     
 
   
 
  ... share via email del.icio.us digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
  5 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
March 21, 2005 @ 12:17 pm
     
 
Is it just me, or does talking about "a successful ARG" make anyone else laugh?



"The marketing people are launching a new ARG today."

"Are you ok Johnson?"

"Yes, fine sir, just talking about the ARG launch"



Ok, its just me then...
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
March 21, 2005 @ 12:28 pm
     
 
How are you defining success?

Marketers are going to have a hard time measuring the effectiveness of any ARG, but I think the players are ultimately the judges: if an ARG has enthralled them, then it's probably a success. Measurable? In some ways. Useful marketing metrics? I'm not sure. Any "future of ARG marketing" type of articles might want to address this. My guess is that ARG marketing is about as measurable and effective as print ads: there are a few obvious metrics, but nothing that will ultimately link sales with exposure.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
March 21, 2005 @ 12:39 pm
     
 
What i ment was, the sound of saying 'ARG' could be interpreted as being a pain-like sound. Like "ARG i hit myself on the head"...
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
March 21, 2005 @ 12:41 pm
     
 
ooooohhhh...

I think you owe yourself a hit in the head for that.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
March 21, 2005 @ 12:46 pm
     
 
Ya, it just gets dumber each time i read it. Sorry, everyone go back to whatever it was you were doing, nothing to see here...
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL

Accessibility:

TEXT

Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.