Friday, December 20, 2013

Everyone Is Better At Selling XBox One Than Microsoft

Microsoft and Sony are both basically running with the same theme for their Now-Gen console advertising: People in their mid-20s/early-30s being blinked into live-action versions of game scenarios. They're all pretty-much the same in one other regard, too - most of the "This could be you having this much fun!" audience-identification characters are overwhelmingly young white dudes.

Certainly nothing wrong with that, but at a point where console manufacturing and game development are both getting so expensive that it's likely a mathematical impossibility for anyone to continue growing in this business without actively seeking to grown their consumer base outside the traditional "archetypal gamer" paradigm it'd be nice to see Sony or Microsoft show (through ad-casting) that they're at least thinking about broader groups of people who might enjoy their games.

So I was really psyched to come home about an hour ago and catch the midpoint of this commercial, in which the "escape into gaming" involves a Dead Rising/Left 4 Dead type zombie scenario. It's exactly like all the others, except this time the central figure is... a black woman. Yeah. In a video-game ad. As "The Gamer," instead of as "the girlfriend" or "the person who'll use this more as a media-hub." How refreshing! How novel! How forward-looking! How very much unlike what you expect of XBox advertising... bloody-perfect that it's NOT actually an XBox commercial, but rather a McDonald's commercial advertising a promo with XBox prizes.

Wanna know the secret - as in, the secret to why McDonald's is suddenly (and effortlessly!) "better" about gamer diversity than actual game companies are? Simple: Because McDonald's (whatever else you may think of them) thinks hard and thinks BIG. When McDonald's thinks "people we think we can make into customers," they're thinking of everybody on the damn planet.