Tuesday 28 July 2009

What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate

You’ve doubtless heard about the latest attempt by a publicity department to make Bill Hicks seem like a model of restraint, the Comicon contest inviting you to commit “Acts of Lust” with a booth babe in order to win a “Night of Lust”. It turns out the backlash over this was just a crazy over-reaction; Tamarind, along the way to rather splendidly pointing out that they’re slightly missing the point of Dante’s original, quotes part of EA’s apology:

“Commit acts of lust” is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps. Also, a “Night of Lust” means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante’s Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.

See? Bet everyone who hysterically attacked EA over this is feeling pretty stupid now, *obviously* any sane, rational person equates “taking a photograph with” to an “act of lust”, and I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I had a “night of lust” that didn’t include a chaperone (well someone’s got to hold the camcorder).

Just in case any future marketing campaign appears incredibly offensive, here’s a handy “Publicityspeak to English” dictionary so you can check you’re not just foolishly misinterpreting what they’re saying:

Publicityspeak < - > English
(example of phrase in a publicityspeak context)

Commit acts of lust < - > Take a photograph with
“To win a night of lust with our babes, post proof to Twitter of you committing acts of lust with them!”

Commit most vile acts of heresy < - > Say ‘strewth’ or ‘zounds’
“To win a night of being trapped in a flaming tomb, post your most vile acts of heresy to Twitter!”

Fabulous and incredible wealth such would make Croesus blush < - > Five US dollars
“Our latest competition offers you the chance to win fabulous and incredible wealth such would make Croesus blush!”

Steal a handbag from < - > Download from our website
“For a chance to win, simply steal a handbag containing an application form!”

Murder the firstborn of < - > Ask how the kids are
“Don’t forget to break the ice with our costumed reps by murdering their firstborn!”

Set fire to < - > Give flowers to
“If they don’t have children, you could always set fire to them instead!”

Pass Roy Hattersley an eiderdown < - > Pass the marmalade
“An eiderdown? I’m not going to pass Roy Hattersley an eiderdown. He can get his own damned eiderdown like everyone else.”

Murder a prostitute < - > Murder a prostitute
“In the most daring and innovative publicity campaign yet, sure to win multiple awards, we’re challenging players to murder a prostitute for a chance to win access to the closed beta, plus a lifetime stay in a maximum security prison!”

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