Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The girl has a great personality

Just surfing around MediaWeek, minding my own bid'nes and ran into this ad. Call me crazy but I do pay attention to online ads. This particular ad is about as attractive as that sorority burping contest years ago. And yet, just like the contest, I couldn't help but be intrigued.

Clicking the ad unit took me to InsideVideoGames.com, a game site for those in the industry endearingly referred to as "suits". Not only that, the site leans towards marketing and advertising. How wonderful is this? I think I'm going to cry.

Unfortunately, my initial euphoria was quickly replaced by that awkward feeling you get the morning after a beer-goggle-induced rendezvous (Not that I've ever had one, just channeling my writer's imagination). Like the ad unit, the site is fugly. The navigation is atrocious. The worse part: if you click on an external article, they hijack your window with their own top frame. Web designers need to realize this is about as appealing as grandma chaperoning your prom.

But hey, I'm a team player. Clenching my jaw, I take in the entire experience and find the site to be quite comprehensive and timely. What is most interesting is that the site is an ugly stepchild of Adweek, Billboard, Hollywood Reporter and Nielsen. Although all four of these properties dabble in games, none are what you would call authorities. This makes me wonder what sort of strategy is playing out here?

Is this site merely a merging of separate properties owned by the same media group (VNU) in an attempt to generate extra revenue? Or is this the beginning of something new, a test of a potentially new game marketing/advertising media company?

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