Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
 
WoW viral marketing

The Mr. T TV ads and in-game mohawk grenades not having a big success, Blizzard apparently is now trying a much cleverer bit of viral marketing: America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry declared on Twitter that she likes to play World of Warcraft "butt naked & stoned". The reason you can be sure that this is a marketing trick is that she included a photo of her doing just that, which just happens to be on the right side of "naughty but not obscene", wearing only a headset, but being cut off at exactly the right height for an "M" rating.

This being viral, of course Blizzard will deny all involvement, and we will be spared the Adrianne Curry NPC in WoW handing out "butt naked stoning grenades". Nevertheless as far as marketing pull goes, a naked top model from 2009 sure beats a fully dressed grumpy TV star from the 80's, especially for a target audience which is predominantly male and young. The news is spreading quickly over various gaming sites and blogs. And besides what they paid the model and the photographer, Blizzard doesn't even have to pay to spread the news. Very clever, Blizzard, well done!
Comments:
Not only that, but who writes "World of Warcraft" instead of WoW in a tweet? (I don't use twitter, so I could be wrong.)
 
If you think it's viral marketing, why are you participating in it by spreading the word on your blog?
 
Noooo... I want Adrienne Curry to play WoW butt naked in *my* living room if it is to have any effect upon my spending patterns.

You're ruining it all with saying it has a good effect. We must ask for the next logical step (see above)!
 
Yeah, definitely a publicity stunt. But it might just be her publicity stunt, I think Blizzard would have included a screenshot of the game :P
 
If you think it's viral marketing, why are you participating in it by spreading the word on your blog?

@Gevlon: Why did you promote Markco's business by spreading the word on your blog?

Basically the question is whether "all publicity is good publicity", or whether a blogger calling out a publicity stunt as such is diminishing the stunt's effect.
 
If this has got Blizzard's hand in it, I'm all for this.

It's about time that there is some public recognition that the average WoW player is a post-adolescent male (mid-20s?).

The media seem to have a hard time understanding that the game isn't aimed at children.
 
"It's about time that there is some public recognition that the average WoW player is a post-adolescent male (mid-20s?)."

In the States at least the average WoW player is a post-adolescent female.
 
I've seen the mr. T clip on Belgian TV for the first time last week.

They completely missed their audience. I felt like that clip was aimed at teenagers who would love to wtfpwn some noobs with grenades.

Now, if I knew that night elf next to me was butt-naked model I'd have a hard time concentrating while raiding ;).
 
In the States at least the average WoW player is a post-adolescent female.

Why do you think that? Do you have a link to data supporting that point? Recently Suzina from Kill Ten Rats claimed that only 19% of WoW players were female, based on old Nick Yee data, and I was wondering how the numbers look now. I have trouble believing there are now more women than men playing.
 
The only MMO I ever played that had a significant number of women (and that was still less than half of course, but more than I expected), was Lotro.

But, my WoW years are long gone, maybe there are more women now. I know that my sister at least plays WoW on occasion.
 
I doubt it had Blizz's hand at all. If it ever got out, the drug reference in what is effectively an ad would be more than a little costly.
 
"The Mr. T TV ads and in-game mohawk grenades not having a big success"

It's not terribly successful with people who already play or have played WoW, like most people who would read this blog. Does anyone but Blizz really know how successful it's been with non-WoW players though?
 
Isn't the term "viral marketing" a bit redundant? Marketing is all about spreading corporate propaganda anyway.
 
She's a top model from 2006, not 2009! The most recent winner was Nicole. Yes, I watch America's Next Top Model.
 
I agree with an earlier poster, I find it hard to claim that the Mr. T ads are not successful. That campaign has been run constantly for what, a year now? Surely they think it's doing *something*.

It's an interesting theory that this model is part of some sly marketing campaign. I'd be inclined to agree with you, except for the blatant drug reference, which is largely taboo in advertising for megacorps. The most you usually see are veiled references - this is far more overt.
 
I don't know if I would consider the washed up actor ads unsuccesful. The problem was they targeted the market that more than likely already played WoW.

Given how many people HAVE played WoW Blizzard should be focusing on the untapped market... middle age women.

Older men wont play because they missed the computer craze and younger men either have played or simply wont at this point.
 
V's wrong, she was the first Top Model in 2003 not 2006.

I think that this is just her being her and really doesn't have anything to do with Blizz. She's has a geek side (likes goth stuff, married a Brady).

Not that I think Blizz minds free publicity. But I think both kind of marketing works, I am 31 and grew up on A-Team, those ads still make me laugh.
 
I pity the fool who falls for that one!

I actually like the cheesey Night Elf Mohawk and grenades. I am a child of the 80's so it's funny to me.

As a female gamer a naked chick doesn't spark any interest. Oh you play naked? I did that last night. Nothing new here.

Ok, I don't really play naked. I would get too cold :(
 
Excuse me, but Male and Young people like myself love Mr T, thank you very much.

>=(

It's ok Mr. T. Don't cry. Shhhhhh.
 
I'm willing to bet this is not a viral marketing campaign by Blizzard. There would be serious media & image problems for Blizzard (and hence, Activision) if it came out that Blizzard knowingly approved something like this.
 
Maybe she tweeted "World of Warcraft" because most people who know who she is have zero clue what WoW would mean.

There are people who don't know what the acronym WoW means. Not everyone games.

If it was a Blizzard overt publicity stunt ... sorry ... knowing a model plays the game naked doesn't entice me to play it nor should it entice anyone else ... unless she's openly got a webcam for all to see.
 
Given what I understood of your moral approach, I would have thought you'd consider this a black hat thing to do, if blizzard did it but then doesn't confirm that latter?
 
I just think it's silly that people are making such a big deal out of it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who play WoW butt naked in their living rooms, why does she matter?

And anyway people should just ignore her because it's obviously a huge publicity stunt.
 
@Gevlon: Why did you promote Markco's business by spreading the word on your blog?

Woah, nice Tobold. I learned the hard way that all publicity is good publicity. I will not reveal the numbers made from Gevlon's post and the multitudes of negative posts from other bloggers but it was the 4th best week for my guide.

I think the reason for this is that people like to find out the truth for themselves so many bought the guide for that reason alone.

My response to the question 'is all publicity good publicity' is yes because it's only human nature for people to not make up their minds until they've investigated the subject matter for themselves. They may dislike the strategy, maybe even the person behind it, but they can't deny the effectiveness of the product.
 
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