No, I'm not talking about the Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo ad in Planetside. My topic today is this recent SOE promotion. Before I start my rant, I'd like to say that it is a great promotion in concept. I'm happy to see SOE trying to increase the subscriber base. In fact, tomorrow, in the spirit of fairness, I will give a list of reasons why I think people should play EQII. My issue today is with the execution of this promotion.
Let's play a little game. Which of these imaginary ads do you think is better:
Ad #1: Read Aggro Me - It's awesome!
Ad #2: Read Aggro Me - It doesn't suck anymore!
Ad #3: Read Aggro Me - Tell your friends who stopped reading Aggro Me because it sucked to come back because now it doesn't suck anymore, I swear, plus here's a bag of gummi bears.
Okay, that was just an example. We all know Aggro Me never sucked, right kids?
But here's my point. Ad #1 is more effective than Ad #2 and Ad #2 is more effective than Ad #3.
I quote from the EQIIPlayers main page, "EverQuest II is growing, and we're listening to what our players want from their gaming experience. Now players who have left EverQuest II can come back and and experience all the improvements in a special free 7-day trial subscription." Way to accentuate the negative. There are two negatives implied in this ad. First, that the game had issues to begin with. And, perhaps more importantly, that players have been leaving in enough numbers to warrant this promotion. That second point has a negative hit on current players as well as potential ones. Overall, I just think it comes off as a little desperate, which we all know is a turn-off.
Simply by changing the "improvements" to "fantastic additions" and just not referring to players who have left in the main copy would be a better ad in my opinion. Also, and I know this is minor, there are two and's in the line "come back and and experience all the improvements." I know that's nitpicky but seriously, spellcheck catches double and's like that.
My second issue is with the factual accuracy of the ad copy. They come out with this winner: "With new features such as vitality, your character can double the experience earned." It is my understanding that vitality was always in the game and it is hardly a new feature. Sure, a vitality indicator was added but according to this list of changes that was back in February 17, 2005. And, again, that was just an indicator, not the actual mechanic of vitality, which existed previously (as far as I know from day one). So what is this ad talking about?
And then we have this gibberish: "Now there are more rewards for solving quests and defeating enemies in EverQuest II. From ancient tomes that unlock secret quests to rare equipment that will make your gear the talk of any guild, this is the kind of loot you've been asking for!"
Am I missing something? I play Everquest II at least every other night and I swear I honestly have no idea what they are talking about here. I have not noted any major changes to loot except that the vendor trash has been changed to "ingots" from whatever it was before (which I find more dull by the way).
Here's a tip: let the devs at least read the ad copy instead of having someone who apparently never plays the game try to churn it out. There have been many fantastic changes in EQII so let's focus on the positive and get things right.
If you think this was a great ad or I'm wrong in my analysis please let me know. As I said, I'll be trying to sell you on EQII myself tomorrow.