The Halting Point

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Attention 18-34 males, you are idiots!

Before you read any further, click the image to the left to view the larger version. Then, just take a moment and read the copy for this ad for the distinguished University of Advancing Technology's (UAT) game design program. This 1/3 page vertical format ad can be found in the July issue of Computer Gaming World and a few other game magazines.

While I certainly do not think you readers are idiots, apparently the folks at UAT do because they think that this ad will encourage you to give them a large sum of money to learn how to make games. I mean, come on, who wouldn't be swayed by phrases like "nerds are for dorks...GEEKS ARE 4-EVER" and "BYTE ME". The reason I picked those as examples is because the rest of the terms make about as much sense as the US being in Iraq. Most of them are just random names of development technologies and random industry buzzwords.

However the real kicker is in the headline which reads: WE SPEAK G33K

Did they seriously just try to appeal to us using 1337 5p34k? And do they honestly think they will gain credibility by claiming to speak it? I mean, I know when I was searching for a center for higher education that I really gave a lot of consideration to schools that sounded like that annoying 15 year old who you love to TK over and over again just to hear them bitch you out in barely intelligible "english".

I really hope the copywriter who wrote this is inhouse because I feel bad for any agency who would be forced to produce this ad. Talk about not being the least bit in touch with your target audience. Newsflash: it is no longer cool to talk like a retard on the internet. Yes, it used to be somewhat in vogue, however now it has gotten so bad that this kind of language is typically used as the basis for sarcastic jokes. Like this ad.

And UAT can't have all the credit. Bad gaming ads go beyond bad copy. They also are mangled by horribly pathetic stereotypes such as those hilariously pointed out by the good folks over at Penny-Arcade.

Why do companies advertising to gamers actively try to insult the intelligence of their target audience? When your ads end up as the laughing stock of the internet, it tends to be a sign that you missed your mark. Why could they not instead have provided information about their strong ties to major industry players, or their experienced professors or awards/success stories of previous studients? Oh, thats right, because gamers are dr00ling idiots who only communicate in alpha-numeric tongues and readily eat up whatever buzzwords are tossed their way.

If this ad got you as annoyed as me, feel free to give UAT a call at (800) 658-5744, ask for their Admissions Director and ask them why they felt this ad would be effective. Please keep it respectful, but by all means let them know how much you appreciate the absurd stereotyping of our demographic.

If anybody from UAT is reading this, feel free to contact me at to explain yourselves or even if you'd just like to discuss my review of your ad a bit more.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vader gets pwned by Japanese

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Evil Photoshopped Cartoons

Worth1000 is hosting a collection of photoshopped classic cartoons featuring a much darker side of our childhood friends. The best one by far is the Thomas the Tank Engine pictured to the left (click to enlarge).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Halting Point...Official Sponsor of DUH

George Parker of AdHurl has a rant up about how fed up they are with "Official Sponsorships"...citing the recent Official Sponsorship of the the Brooklyn Cyclones by Chef One Dumplings, the new official dumpling of the team.

Now, I think everybody in this industry can agree that this is just about as dumb as you can get in terms of matching the brand to the team, but I have to wonder how George, how could you not see the marketing value in something like this? From your own words:

  • "As part of the deal, Chef One will distribute samples of their dumplings, hold 'dumpling nights' and dumpling eating contests."
  • They're getting samples in front of a large audience in a fairly captive environment that (I hope) matches their demographics. So the question raised of whether or not fans will buy a brand because its an "Official Sponsor" is not the correct question to ask. Rather, we should be asking whether the business and buzz generated by this sponsorship (not to mention all of the advertising blogs here on the net ripping it apart) justifies the cost of the sponsorship.

    Of course, this is the account manager side of me speaking. I really don't know the demographics of this dumpling place, nor do I know the demos of the Cyclones, but I don't think you should so hastily draw a comparison to Bud's sponsorship of the World Cup (which is beyond idiocy).

    However I do feel that poorly chosen sponsorships can in fact damage a brand's image. This often occurs when the brand is a horrible mismatch for the sponsorship (ala Bud) or when their sponsorship just sounds so horrendously force-fed that it just makes consumers feel ill hearing it may well be the case for an "Official Dumpling". Just watch or listen to any TV or radio broadcast of a major sporting event to hear some other magnificently stupid ones.