Friday, May 11, 2007

Hit him in the Cheetos

Next Gen has a great article on marketing and branded games. Cheetos hired a game company to develop a branded paintball game.

The developers had thought it would be a great idea to let the kids shoot the famed mascot. They were right. The kids would have loved that. The marketers didn’t. The game was scrapped.

Personally, this is probably an overreaction on the part of the marketers. It's not like the kids would be able to kill the character, jump up and down on him and chant "Doritos is great!" It's paintball, everyone is fair game. Take the flip side of this and you could see the marketers potentially wanting the Cheetos Tiger to have super powers (of course only after eating Cheetos), flying around and hitting everyone with extreme accuracy.

As games become more and more a legitimate medium on par with TV, radio and the like, marketers are going to have to realize that absolute control is foolish. I frequently run into the same situation when clients want to create a community online but refuse to allow unedited comments from the community. It doesn't make sense just like having a shooting game with your mascot and not allowing someone to frag em doesn't make sense.

Random thought: So if this game had come out, would my fingers get all orange after playing it?

Random image: I wonder what the marketers think about this girl in a Cheetos bath.


Andrew said...

Uhhhh... Chester? The mascot? He's a CHEETAH. Get it? Alliteration? It's not Chester the Tiger, it's Chester Cheetah.

Btw, totally agree with your point that he should be a part of the game. Why not have him be the other "team," right? He can shoot you too! That way, not only can you seek to pretend-destroy their brand, but the brand can seek to pretend-kill you! :)

Whoops, did I just inadvertently subvert your point?

Ken said...

It is a well known fact that the Cheetos Cheetah is actually a bastard child of Tony the Tiger and that hot Cheetah chick on Thundercats. There was a lesser known falling out early in life between Tony and Chester with the latter swearing off his father's surname. I'd like to think I'm opening up a chance for that relationship to heal.

Re: your point. We all know the actual product is slowly killing us anyways. It's not just coincidence that Cheetos and all sorts of warning labels, signs and cones are the same color.

Andrew said...

nice response. I'm left without rebuttal. :(