Our marketing manager, Jakob, has expressed his opinions about traditional advertising below! A good read.
Jakob pondering the marketing aspects in PSVR and other random video game stuff
Listening to my daily dose of podcasts never fail. It has become a morning and afternoon traveling ritual. Whether it´s more factual and documentarian like Hardcore History or RadioLab. More talk show-y like StarTalk Radio, The Tim Ferriss Show or PS I Love You XOXO. Even more fictionalized short stories like The Truth or one giant narrative like Welcome to Night Vale or We´re Alive.
Podcasting right now is the holy grail of creativity, overflowing with well-produced audio deliciousness. But if you haven’t lived under a rock for the past few years, this statement is nothing new. My concern lies in when podcasting gets infiltrated by the marketing departments and suddenly podcasting is not the holy grail of creativity anymore. No, this is not a Mr. Robot or Fight Club rant on consumerism or capitalism. This is more of an innate fear of the invasion of my morning and afternoon ritual. So, to not come across as a grumpy old man on a crackling porch, a constructive suggestion and example of a solution, comes here. Before we start, full disclosure, I am involved with the games studio (Bolvërk Games) and the game (Kittypocalypse) that the episode is set in, plus also been a key part in the creation of the episode. But here we go.
Now I´m incredibly biased, of course I will think this initiative is perfection itself. But stick with me and you will hopefully see what I see. How both podcasting survives Big Business and improves advertising that people actually want to consume. Basically, it is the creation of narratives or short stories, only in audio format, set in the world of a particular entertainment product. Setting a self-contained story either fully or partially detached from the main products narrative. Through this method you showcase the products setting, feel, characters and tone. Meaning that the product is both being and not-being advertised, at the same time. In my, again biased, view both constituting an effective and consumer friendly way of promoting your product. Creating a more modern promotional approach, avoids spoilers, taps into the everlasting hunger for stories and creates engaging content at the same time.
First off, this isn’t really anything new. Like many historian’s praise, I peeked into the past, to come up with the future. The thing I stumbled upon was radio or more accurately, audio dramas. The height of the dramatized podcasts, happening right now, is actually the second height. The first was the Radio Drama days back in the 1930s up to the 1960s, where it suddenly became stagnant. Now after a long drought, the audio dramas are back and coined, Radio Drama´s New Media Revival.
Now switch your look to more contemporary and video based examples. Here we see EA´s BioWare short stories, for their massive online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic (Link) and Activision-Blizzards, Overwatch character-driven narratives (Link). Where a short, self-containing game, PT or Playable Teaser (Link) was made for the game Silent Hills, later cancelled. Non-narrative products also get the treatment, where the just released BMW shot film, The Escape (Link) blurs the line between an ad and engaging content. So, the only new part here is the distribution through podcasting and thereby the audio only format.
This is therefore basically an, well my, answer to; annoying traditional advertisements which people skips anyway. A communicative new form that requires its own demand, own production and own time devotion. But avoids Adblocking software altogether and presenting the next new thing. Mixing together the line between devious marketing ploys and engaging self-contained content.
So, is this just a naïve pursuit, fully ignoring, for instance, the higher production costs? Probably. But I think that this is the way forward and I´m genuinely a believer of this. Now the only question is what you think? Hopefully I didn´t come across as a sleazy used car salesman, it really wasn’t my intention at all.
But most importantly, the real reason for this blogpost, is to save our everyone’s morning and afternoon traveling rituals.