Reader’s Digress: An Evolution Of Stupid
DOM VAN BLERK, CAPE TOWN — Hey guys, Dom here. Some of you might recognise me considering I was a regular visitor and commenter here for quite some time. I even wrote an article or two that featured on the site and guested on the second podcast.
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Anyway, I’m currently a copywriting student at The Red & Yellow School Of Logic And Magic and one of our assignments is to write a weekly blog post wherein we critique an advert or advertising campaign. The always-charming Cavie asked me to submit this and, well, here it is, mostly verbatim.
For a change of pace, I’ve decided to take a look at an example of advertising that makes me want to pull my hair out, puke all over myself, give up my dream of becoming a copywriter and live out the rest of my life in the gutter. If you have as vivid an imagination as I do, that sentence should’ve been a clear indicator as to just how much I hate this campaign.
That’s right, folks, this week I have not one, not two but six disgusting web ads to show you! Well, to be fair, the first isn’t as egregious as its siblings. At least there’s that. These started popping up all over the internet a few years ago, causing massive rebate from, y’know, anyone with morals.
For the uninitiated, Evony is an online multiplayer game that’s played in your internet browser. It’s free to play, although supported by microtransactions such as paying to speed up resource gathering, make your units stronger and for every message you send to other players. Ridiculous, yes, but they were clearly making money out of it considering how long it ran for. Did I mention it’s basically a clone of Civilization?
Their first known advert. A soldier and a “play now” button. Very original. It’s an ad, I guess. A bloody boring ad, but I suppose it serves its purpose. Clearly not well enough, looking at the direction they decided to take it in next…
“Dudes, we need a new ad.”
“Yeah man, why don’t we put a sexy chick in it?”
“SWEET IDEA! And how about, instead of doing some actual work and hiring someone for a photo shoot, we just take a pic from the internet? Nobody will notice!”
“Sorted. LET’S GO GET DRUNK!”
“Dude, I already am.”
“Yeah, me too.”
I can’t see any other way the conversation leading to the conception of this pitiful excuse for an advertisement could’ve gone. And that bit about stealing the image of the woman? 100% fact. Then there’s the copy directed at the reader… “Start your journey NOW, my LORD!”
Clearly they believe that anyone interested in online games (their own target market) is an acne-covered, pasty-faced nerdy teenage boy that’s craving interaction with a female enough to make do with a non-existent digital one. Real classy, guys.
And, to put the icing on the cake, it just gets worse from here on out.
Quick question: does anyone even remember what the game is about? These subsequent ads go deeper and deeper into the pits of depravity until you believe you’ve reached the extent of the marketing team’s debauchery. But no. Oh, deary me, no. You couldn’t be more wrong. You couldn’t possibly be more wrong.
Without further ado, Evony’s pièce de résistance. Its magnum opus. Its crowning achievement. I’m sorry, did I say without further ado? Well, here it is. In all its shameless glory.
At this point, I’m sure the marketing team’s moved on from alcohol to cocaine, crystal meth and a multitude of other drugs. I mean, what else could possibly make an already lewd campaign…this? It’s not even trying to assume any sense of decency any more. It’s saying nothing more than, “Look! Boobs! Click!”
So thank you, Evony. Thank you for showing me the worst the advertising world has to offer. Scratch that, thank you for showing me the worst the internet has to offer. I feel as if I now know what life as a copywriter would be like if I hated myself, respected nobody and had no morals or sense of self worth.
Once again, thank you. Thank you for showing me that I’m not the worst humanity has to offer. There are clearly far, far more depraved individuals than myself stalking this planet. Tonight I’ll kick back, grab a good book and think fondly of what the future holds for me.