Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Socially responsible advertising? Don't make me laugh...

Terra Nova has an excellent post today about the less than socially responsible advertising going on in game magazines. They dissect (and I mean this literally) the type of advertising found in these mags and found, to no one's surprise, a extreme bias towards white male-centric advertising.

Just as interesting as the post are the comments from the community. I'd love to jump in to the fray but I'm afraid this is old news for the ad world. While I was in the ad biz I saw almost EVERY industry, EVERY advertising channel and EVERY big ad agency out there guilty of prurient practices. The simple truth is that it works.

The overtly sexed up female ad? Men like to look at pretty women and women like to look at pretty women (I can dig up a TON of research for you). It gets attention, attention equals sales, sales equal more ads. Open up a woman's magazine lately? We're wired this way, it's a fact. The game industry is not more guilty of this than anyone else.

However, (here's where I redeem myself somewhat) just because we're wired this way doesn't mean we have to indulge it, especially to the extreme. The post laments on the lack of unsexed, old and overweight models. I doubt we'll see that anytime soon. That doesn't mean, though, that we should have scantily clad women in "bikini armor". Our industry as a whole can tone it down and still be alright. This is the second time today that I've said this, but let's get out of the frat house and find some maturity.

Less Maxim and more Esquire. Not perfect but it's a step.

Remember, marketers are not good people. And by the way, I'm reviewing ads for BOTS. I'm thinking the one with the twin college cheerleaders draped over a BOT with a big gun will do just fine. ;)

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