We all know the challenge of standing out at big events like BlogHer, ComicCon and (back in the day) leviathans like Comdex.
I've gotten notes from PRSA and a colleague attending BlogHer wondering "wtf?!"
Evidently the promotion revolved around their new Dante's Inferno game. People were being encouraged to have their pictures taken while committing acts of lust with booth babes. Electronic Arts has since apologized and some are wondering if this was a planned strategy.
Evidently Electronics Arts even faked a protest over the same game earlier this summer. Whenever something stupid like this happens, the media wonder if it was planned to generate more ink.
Bombastic ≠ Strategic
Standing out at trade shows in particular can be tough. More than a decade ago, at a client's trade show, I was impressed when one exhibitor was allowing attendees to make their own tie dye t-shirts with the company's logo on it. There booth had a lot of traffic with long lines as a result of the giveaway. When I told my client about this he asked me what the company sold. It wasn't more than 10 minutes later and I couldn't remember.
Anyone can piss someone off if they try hard enough. I'm even reminded of a quote from Spinal Tap when someone objected to their album cover for Smell the Glove. "That's nothing. You should have seen the cover they wanted to publish."
A fine blend of sizzle and steak is required to stand out for the right reasons. And whether or not the Electronic Arts stunts were planned or spontaneous, fake or real, NONE of this is strategic. It's desperate.
Cross-posted to the Bad Pitch Blog.