Friday 11 December 2009

We're obviously going to spend a lot in marketing because we think the product sells itself

Couple of interesting bits on marketing turned up in the blogroll over the past couple of days; first Scott Jennings linked a couple of tweets (and a picture) of America’s Previous Next Top Model, No, The One Before That, Not The Next Next Top Model, The First One, That’s Her playing World of Warcraft “butt naked and stoned”, which Tobold thought was a new viral marketing campaign. I’m not sure the reasoning entirely stands up (I understand it’s possible for people to take ‘M’ rated photographs without being part of advertising campaigns), but like a good conspiracy theory it can’t be disproved.

Laying bare the bones of marketing, on the other hand, a piece on Plastic Axe; after the fun and games over Kurt Cobain being a playable character in Guitar Hero 5, No Doubt were also a bit miffed about the way they were used in Band Hero and sued, only Activision are now reportedly counter-suing for No Doubt not meeting their marketing obligations. Plastic Axe links to one of the court documents involved, which is a goldmine of “popular beat combos, m’lud”, like:

“Answering Paragraph 22 of the Complaint, Activision admits
that Plaintiff purports to quote certain lyrics from the song “Honky Tonk Women,”
admits that Plaintiffs members avatars which had been approved by Plaintiff are in
“Band Hero” pursuant to a fully paid license agreement with Plaintiff, admits that
certain users of “Band Hero” are able to “unlock” its members’ in-game characters
and then can choose to play songs performed by other artists using “unlocked”
characters, admits that “Honky Tonk Women” is a song that is included in “Band
Hero,” states that it is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief
as to the truth of the allegations whether Plaintiffs member’s are “avid fans” of the
Rolling Stone”

Supporting the case, though, is a copy of the Professional Services and Character License Agreement which includes clauses such as:

3.4 Artist shall provide two (2) recorded video ‘shout-outs’ (e.g.,”Hi, this is No Doubt and we’re in the new Band Hero game”), subject to Artist’s scheduling demands and subject to Artist’s review and approval of the contents of such ‘shout outs’.

Now I think most of us have come to realise that (Insert Band Or Artist Name Here) might not actually avidly watch (Insert Name Of Popular Music Televisual Show Here) or always listen to (Insert Name Of Radio Station Here), but it’s interesting to see just how nailed down these things are. I think they could be a bit more specific, though, maybe something more like…

3.4 Artist shall provide two (2) recorded video ‘shout-outs’ (e.g.,”Hi, this is The Interrobang Cartel and we’re in the new Bassoon Hero game”), accompanied by enthusiastic gestures conveying the Artist’s great excitement such as (but not limited to) extending the tongue or raising a hand with index and little fingers extended such as to form what may appear to be a pair of horns. Artist shall whoop and/or, if agreed by Artist and Company, holler to further convey this excitement in aural form. All such gestures and hullabaloo must be entirely spontaneous, subject to review and approval by nominated parties.

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