Tag Archives: marketing

Play magazine, and all that

Today’s entry veers dangerously close to some kind of marketing, or even sounding like I’m a Company Man – those who know me know this is nonsense as I hate everything. If anything, it should mean there’s a greater impact behind the words* as it shows I do genuinely have a place in my heart for this sheeit.

See, today the 200th issue of the magazine I write for, Play, has been released. This is actually quite a big thing in the world of gaming magazines, as there really aren’t too many that have lasted this long. It’s such a transient, fickle business that what seems popular enough to have a magazine based on it one month will have fuck-all interest in it by the next week. So yeah, 15 years is a decent effort. In fact, I think there’s only a few gaming mags out there now that have hit this mark.

Anyway, this does matter to me beyond boasting on behalf of Imagine Publishing. I actually used to buy Play every month – I bought the first issue, back in 1995 whenever it was, a tiny 12-year-old with the hopes and dreams of a nation on my shoulders. Either that or I just wanted something to fill the Amiga Power-shaped hole in my heart, and a magazine edited by Dave “Games Animal” Perry seemed perfect for task. It wasn’t, but I still liked it.

The mag was genuinely one of my favourites through that point of my life, and up to a certain point, which I don’t know, I would buy it every month. I even had a subscription at one point. And a letter printed. I’m so fucking cool, bet Anna can’t wait for me and my cool to arrive later.

Anyway, that’s why it means something to me – if not a life-changing amount, but something. I went from loyal child-reader, to not reading, to loyal subscriber and idiotic letter-writer, to not reading again, to writing for it and helping make the 200th issue. Which is nice.

Go buy it! Or something. I’m well good at advertising, me.

*Hahaha, twat.

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I hate adverts. No witty title here – I just do

I’m sure this is an attitude held by most of you out there who have some smarts about you, even if you will still let some ads off for having a ‘cute’ jingle, a ‘HILARIOUS’ slogan or a ‘fucking annoying’ character in them. But I hate adverts. I really do. Not in the “oh god, ads are on, I’m going to make a cup of tea” way. I will actually stay right where I am so I can watch these things, so I can take them in, analyse them, think about what prompted them, what they’re trying to say and what they’re all about in order to be able to truly tear them limb from limb. It’s the old-fashioned trait of having a borderline obsession with your mortal enemy.

It would be possible for me to simply list all the recent adverts I’ve seen and what’s wrong with them, why you should want to shoot yourself every time they’re on and why we are poorer as a species for the fact they exist. But there’s no need – there are others out there doing just this, doing it better and doing it in a handy, list-o-blog thing for easy dissemination. And after ten minutes of hardcore searching (I’ve forgotten what the site I was thinking about is called), I can present you with no link whatsoever. Bollocks. Needless to say, it’s great. Just go to this one, even though I’ve not read it properly and it wasn’t the one I was thinking of. (EDIT: Ash found it, like a king amongst men. Go here)

In lieu of a link to a better site, I’ll just have to put one example here for you. Let’s watch a classic clip from one of the best comedy shows ever made, Big Train: GO. Now let’s watch the recent RightMove advert and try our hardest to spot some similarities. GO. It’s not the most blatant rip-off in the history of the world (hello Coors/Flight of the Conchords, you absolutely sickening cunts), but it’s still damn irritating. Come up with your own ideas you whiny, awful, pathetic little parasites. We’re all guilty of taking inspiration from others – it’s how we grow in a creative medium (see: this very blog, taken from the ideas of others) – but there’s a point when you’re just cruising by, making money hand-over-fist through ripping off the ideas of those who actually bothered to sit around and have an original thought. I honestly could not give two shits if most people in marketing were to just die tomorrow. In fact, this rant isn’t even original. It was done many times over by someone who was far angrier about it than I could ever be.

Much as it pains me to link to a Bill Hicks clip, I will. Here. It’s not that I don’t want to link to the man – he was brilliant, obviously, and the world is worse off for his death etc, etc, etc. But I’ve been around far too many self-righteous hippy/alternative/trendy students who will talk about the man as if he’s some kind of unknown quantity. Fact: everyone who knows good comedy knows Bill Hicks. I wouldn’t have stand-up comedians as my specialist subject on Mastermind, don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to have ridiculous levels of comi-knowledge. I’m not being arrogant. I… look: we know about him, alright? Shut up. He was very good, he wasn’t the funniest man in the world, nor did he always speak the incontrovertible truth. He was just really fucking good and absolutely necessary.

Though, those of you who aren’t familiar with his work just rape Youtube for all his clips. Fantastic stuff, and still just as pertinent today, so long as you switch out the cultural references for more modern ones. Or just leave them as they are, should you get off on satire based around New Kids on the Block.

Where was I?

I don’t just hate all these awful, awful rip-off adverts – I also hate the ones that are just so mind-numbingly bad you hope that 99942 Apophis actually will hit us. Just to release us from the unending vomit of “GO COMPAAAARE”, “simples!”, “one one eiiight, twenty-four seven…” and all the rest of this inexcusable shite that has the temerity to get embedded in my head. Yes, that’s my main issue with all of this – I hate them, I want them all to piss off and die, I will fight to my last breath to end them all but… well – they’re winning. I’m aware of their products, of their adverts, of their campaigns and the style they’re going with this month. They’re making me hate myself a bit more than normal.

Fuck you, adverts. This is without even getting into the minefield that is targeted advertising in video games, on Facebook and the like. Gah.


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