All things considered, video game marketing is a pretty straightforward affair. Take a game, find out what makes it tick, and showcase that element until you’re blue in the face. Is there a visually appealing hero to play as? — great; put him or her front and center on every poster. Is the world of the game alive with eye-catching explosions? — even better, that’ll make for great TV. But what about when a new console needs an ad campaign, something that’s guaranteed to generate frenzied hype and excitement? How about a violently vomiting fanboy? That’s the twisted logic behind the latest ad from android-powered console, the Ouya.
Titled ‘Sixty Bucks for a Game?,’ the long-since deleted advertisement first appeared on Ouya’s official YouTube channel on Tuesday. Following a swift, and less-than-stellar response to the Ren & Stimpy/ Animation Domination-inspired cartoon, the video was subsequently set to private, before later being removed. Luckily, for fans of hilarious marketing missteps and gruesome, unnecessary gore, the trailer quickly re-emerged, and can now be viewed in its entirety up top (credit: WarioSixFour).
Replying to a Kotaku-led investigation of the ad, an Ouya representative later told the site:
“We are experimenting with animated content and posted this video briefly to get feedback from our community. Stay tuned for our official video!”
The ill-advised commerical is the latest in a long line of disappointments for the Ouya. Launched back in June, the entertaining, if slightly feature-short machine has failed to find much of an audience amongst gamers busily preparing for the next wave of major consoles. Prior to release, numerous outlets criticized the $99 system’s architecture, as well as its poor ergonomic design. Post-launch, the console’s position appears to be largely unchanged, as sales figures continue to slump and powerful new competitors emerge.
It’s entirely possible, given the difficulties the microconsole has faced so far, that Ouya Inc. commissioned this rather bizarre ad with the intention of generating shock-value interest. Without a major ‘unit-shifter’ or must-have title to call its own, the company may simply have opted to follow the oldest adage in advertising, namely that of “controversy creates cash.” Whether this was indeed the manufacture’s intent, the advert itself stands as one of the strangest video game-related properties to emerge in years. Sony aficionados will likely recall the PS2’s marketing push involved an inexplicably planet-hopping wolfman character, while the PlayStation 3 played host to a terrifying robotic baby, both of which were more weird than absurd.
What do you make of this advert? Did Ouya Inc. back the commercial before getting cold feet? What’s your all-time favorite gaming advert? Let us know in the comments below.
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