SA gamers punk’d by new broadband provider
The truth is out – the debate that has been raging across the South African gaming community (see below) about who are better gamers – boys or girls – was in fact a marketing campaign planted by new IS broadband provider PLuGG. PLuGG targeted the gaming community as a core niche in its customer base. It planted posts on gaming forums and blogs, and even put out YouTube videos supporting one side or the other, with the help of agency Hello World. PLuGG conceived the campaign to conclude around a first-of-its-kind Girls vs. Guys Game-Off event that was held at the end of 2008.
“PLuGG created a number of credible yet fake online personas, and set about seeding this debate online,” according to a media release by PLuGG. “Under these fake personas, PLuGG infiltrated some of the top gaming sites in South Africa, namely MyBroadband, Prophecy and Systemshock for example. PLuGG appointed a number of independent seeders with impressive networks who created discussions on social networking sites such as Facebook.”
The total amount of online exposure for the debate was 17 290 views with 640 replies to the seeded discussions.
“The fact that PLuGG is aimed at such a techno-savvy target market gave us the opportunity to develop an effective viral online marketing campaign using various forms of new digital media and BTL activities,” commented Theo Ferreira, Chief Executive Creative Director of Hello World Agency. “The success of the campaign was based on understanding the target market, speaking to them via digital mediums that they use and like, and finally packaging the concepts in an exciting manner so that they shared it with their peers. PLuGG have proved that their game genuinely never stops when using innovative thinking to converse with their audience.”
The YouTube clips:
Girl Gaming Clan – This video featured a fake girl gaming clan “Vixen5” and received 231 views and 2 comments.
Lecture – A lecturer claiming that female mental abilities would allow them to be better at games. Received 190 views and 1 comment.
Lab – Featured a scientific experiment that showed women’s gaming abilities. Received 240 views and 1 comment.