From polluting rivers to hilariously worded posters, we count 15 marketing campaigns that were inspired by smoking an innocuous green substance.
15 – 99 Red Balloons,
- Homefront, (or rather) THQ the developers of Homefront, staged a rally against the North Korean government, which totally made sense considering the game was about North Korea taking over America.
- The rally ended with ten thousand helium filled balloons floating off into the sky, shortly before bad weather deflated the balloons and landed them in the San Franciscan Bay.
- Basically the end result was a bunch of crap with GameStop’s logo polluting the ocean.
- Of course THQ claimed that they were biodegradable, but that didn’t stop them paying for a crew to clean them all out before anyone could check to see if they were lying.
14 – You’re His Bitch,
- Not long before Eidos released the critically acclaimed Daikatana, a poster came out saying a lovely message on the front that upset no one and made everyone even more excited for the release.
- Well not really, here’s what it said: JOHN ROMERO’S ABOUT TO MAKE YOU HIS BITCH. Suck It Down.
- I kind of understand that they were trying to insinuate that the game was going to be really challenging, but on the other hand if that’s what they were trying to go for, maybe don’t run the metaphor into the ground and make it sound like a flat truth by implying a forced blowjob.
13 – Scare Your Mum,
- I don’t know if EA tricked these women into playing Dead Space 2, or if they were in fact actors, but I do know that mean spirited fun isn’t a good way to make some publicity.
- According to the news sites, EA got some mothers into a focus group to play Dead Space 2 before it was released, then they filmed their reactions and used it as promotional material.
- I appreciate creative marketing, but maybe try and not make your company look like the sleazy douchebags that they actually are.
12 – Soilent Red,
- We’ve seen marketing companies brand soft drinks and junk food to promote a game, but Capcom wanted to make it just that much more authentic and decided to promote Resident Evil 6 by opening a butcher called Wesker & Son.
- And if you know anything about Resident Evil, you can probably guess what the meat happened to take the shape of and no, it’s not zombie dogs.
- They even went so far as to make faux, or at least I hope they weren’t real, penises to sell for human consumption, I have no idea why this was necessary, but it just confirms that Capcom wants you to eat a dick.
11 – Illegal in More Places than One,
- Back in 2010, when they were in their prime, Zynga decided that they wanted more money and that they were willing to break the law in order to get it, but they didn’t cook the books or anything like that.
- Instead they glued fake money to the pavement and walls of San Francisco and once they were reminded it was illegal, they went and did it again in New York City.
- It’s not like the money was big enough for anyone to think it was actually real, or at least not anyone smart that is, but then again, it’s not like Zynga makes its money from actually intelligent people anyhow.
10 – Goat,
- In order to promote for a God of War game, Sony held a party where there was a freshly slaughtered, headless goat that people were encouraged to eat the insides out.
- This is possibly the one the makes the most sense, in a weird way, I mean I get that God of War is all about Ancient Greek mythos, but if you’re going for authentic you might as well do it right.
- I can’t imagine that eating a god’s sacrifice is going to do anything positive for your life; knowing the Greek Gods it’ll probably end up with you eating poisoned goat entrails for all eternity.
9 – Uninteresting,
- This image was released by the Indian Microsoft social media team in order to promote a zero interest loan for an Xbox 360.
- I know, I know, you probably think it’s a joke or something, but nope, once the internet gladly pointed out that this was incredibly slanderous against their own brand, they pulled it down and thanked the community for pointing this out.
- I would pay good money to see the person-responsible’s face when they realised what they had done and I would pay even more to see their pants, from a safe distance with a gas mask that is.
8 – Fauxtesting,
- I think we all kind of expect a bit of outrage from the more conservative Christians whenever a game even remotely related to the Christian faith comes out, but it was a surprise when Dante’s Inferno sparked an actual protest at E3.
- Except, of course, it was completely faked for some reason, apart from the fact that a few sites reported on it, I can’t see how this helped the game sell.
- And considering it didn’t really do that well, especially considering its budget and lack of sequel, I think that EA will think twice before doing something like that again.