By Malay Desai
From: China, by Saatchi & Saatchi
Around the release of its three new online games, Chinese game developer Changyou has launched a campaign with three new films. In one, a girl seems disappointed with her father who keeps playing games on his tablet, in another a boss of a small office seems concerned about a game-addict employee and in the third, a mother is worried if her game-playing son would ever get a girlfriend. In all three, a voiceover defends the online gamers as the visuals show them being harassed or treated inappropriately by the person in question around them. ‘Playing can’t be bad’, the copy toward the end of the films reads.
Why we Like?
There is a reason why agencies (wait, not the Indian ones) rejoice when they clinch an alcohol account, especially of beer brands. Because, apart from the boozy incentives, the scope allows them to be honest, unabashed and, well, what their departments are called, creative. Gaming, like beer, offers a similar canvas and China’s ‘leading’ online game developer has put on a straight face here to make us applaud.
At a time when there are more gaming options than ever before, it’s still tough to market a game (or three, in this case) to a TA that has attention span issues and dozens of options. Moreover, with ‘scientific’ studies linking gaming to negative human behaviour appearing every week (since the 90s), the perception of gaming being ‘bad’ and the losers’ last resort keeps hanging. Changyou here had multiple goals to achieve, and has chosen an approach simple enough to bag it awards.
The ‘daughter’ film is my favourite, as it speaks out the male voice hilariously – accusing a little girl of boring her dad to death by her antics. Will it be incorrect to say, will it offend some feminists, does it sound outright rude –would’ve been the questions on the makers’ minds, before they high-fived and moved on. Like in cases of beer ads and many gender-focused films of say perfumes orautomobiles, as long as your target group is laughing, it doesn't matter if the other gets offended.
The ‘boss’ film is funny too, more in the treatment. Horrible bosses are a universal truth, and the situations in this one are obviously appealing to the underdog, the poor over-worked harassed officer. In the ‘mother’ film, the last on my list, the biggest TA is addressed, the teenage boy. Breaking down the perception that hardcore gamers don't get women will be an ongoing process, and by taking their side, the brand just says, ‘Relax, it’s not your fault, you carry on bludgeoning from that machine gun.’
By shifting the blame from the gamers to the people around them, are cutting out the guilt and simply saying, gaming is not bad. Well played.
(To watch this film,type ‘bit.ly/ViewTube_May18’ in your browser and hit go)
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