Silly Sega advertising

Now I am the first to say that sex and violence is a good thing in video games. They work well to enhance the game player’s emotional involvement with the game and thus their enjoyment of it. This is why books and films are even more full of sex and violence. Adults are adults and should be able to have the entertainment they want as long as nobody gets hurt. If you are prudish or easily shocked and offended all you need to do is keep away from 18 rated material.

In fact there is a theory that violence in games is “better” for you than violence in books and films. With the latter you are subject to the violence as an observer and can do nothing about it. With games, being interactive, you can do something about the violence. This is not only less traumatic, it also acts as a catharsis.

So to Sega. They have been using television adverts for a game called Condemned 2 that contain excessive violence. With blood splattering on the screen as a man is beaten with a club. Obviously television viewers don’t like being subject to this, and quite rightly so. Just because you watch television after the 9PM watershed doesn’t give advertisers a carte blanche to subject you to disturbing imagery. So, unsurprisingly, people complained. And, also unsurprisingly, the advert was banned.

Just because an entertainment product contains sex and/or violence does not mean you have to depict it in your marketing. Firstly you have a duty to a broader society not to subject them to this. Secondly there is a very high likelihood of reaching inappropriate groups such as children. And thirdly, as any good marketeer knows, it is far more effective to tease about a feature than it is to blatantly shove it in people’s faces.

So before you wonder what Sega were up to just consider this. It would have been a small campaign with a very small number of broadcast slots probably on channels with low viewing figures and so with cheap advertising rates. So this banning publicity has got Condemned 2 far more publicity than the adverts themselves. Which the cynic in me says was what Sega planned all along.

1 Comment

  1. Untrue – sex and voilence is ‘ok unless people dont get harmed’ – well people harm themselves firstly, and then negatively influence others around them – it does harm society so totally diagree with this argument you keep on harkeing on about!

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