Engagement: BRINK

A week or so ago, while en route to see X-Men: Class, I happened upon this piece of advertising for BRINK.


I don’t know what it is about this image that is so striking (or in fact what it actually says about my brain’s stimulus/response mechanism), but for some reason it makes me want to find out more. Of Brink, at the time, I knew nothing. Further exploration has uncovered that it’s a new first-person-shooter (FPS) and that actually, apparently, it’s not very good. Translated: I asked a fellow gamer and he said – “Well, it’s alright.”

The image above has stayed with me. If there was a demo, I’d download it -  as a hook, it got me.

However what has yet to happen to my nascent advocacy is any kind of pick up.

Advertising like this is crying out for integration. And by that I’m not just talking about having print, TV and outdoor all matching, I mean having a demo available, having monitoring tools in place picking to pick up any mention online, some kind of a social presence/activation/engagement strategy – something, anything that is there ready to spot that I have an interest.

As it stands, my gaming schedule(!) currently consists of re-visiting Modern Warfare 2, playing to the end of Red Dead Redemption and slowly getting drawn into the world of L.A. Noire. Room for another game in my life, there is not.

But Brink really does have me thinking; both about the advertising campaign around it and of course, the game itself.



Incidentally, sometimes it works the other way around – this piece of engagement for Bulletstorm for instance fell on deaf ears. I had no idea who or what Bulletstorm was or is and found myself googling it to try and find out more. Frustrating really; I loved the asset, but the whole thing lacked any kind of personalisation. It did actually drive me to download the demo mind, but still – it left me feeling somewhat empty.

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

11 thoughts on “Engagement: BRINK”

  1. Banal. Sticks two fingers up at playable and enjoyable gaming… more like. Haven’t seen a social campaign for a game contract and shrink backwards so quickly since Duke Nukem Forever bought itself an ill advised (and $120,000 a day http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2011/06/13/inside-twitters-ads-120000-per-day-for-promoted-trends/) promoted trend.

    whatleydude Reply:

    That bad huh?

    (and I’ve just written about Duke Nukem too – will publish the day after tomorrow)

    Luc Reply:

    It wasn’t a completely terrible game, just felt like they’d missed out 1/2 of it; the campaign was just a list of missions you could do in any order – no real structure to it – coupled with the fact that you had no idea when you were playing against bots or other humans made it feel empty.
    It did have some good points though (art direction was great, and the free-running was good when it worked) and much like Mirror’s Edge, when someone gets it right in the future, this will have been the starting point for it…

  2. This ad is all over Hackney right now. It freaks out Lola (5), and pisses me off. Sure it grabbed my attention, but only really served to remind me of all the reasons I don’t own a console. Maybe that means whoever publishes ‘Brink’ doesn’t need to worry about me. But surely I’m precisely the type of person the wider games industry should be trying to draw in, rather than further disenfranchising. Advertising like this reinforces that certain games and publishers still see their core business as scaring kids, which, as we all know, is neither big, nor clever.

    whatleydude Reply:

    Parenthood is a badge I’m yet to unlock so I hadn’t even thought of it like that at all. I’m assuming there are rules and regulations that the image above has to adhere to?

    That’s a bit gash if it scares your little one. Rubbish.

    Kassidy Reply:

    Yeah, though I wasn’t walking with my little ‘un at the time, it did get me thinking that I probably wouldn’t want her exposed to that image.

    The game I hear mixed reviews on. One friend of mine really enjoys it, others have been on the “it’s all right” top of the fence, others have hated it. Doesn’t help that it appears to be available on Steam everywhere except the UK. 🙁

  3. From what I hear it is pretty Mediocre. Coming from Bethesda I expected more, but those that have played it say it’s not that great.

    I agree, there should be a demo.

    Have already completed Read Dead Redemption + the Zombies add on. One of the best games I’ve enjoyed playing – ever.

  4. game review aside .. lets take a moment to review that two tools of access are clearly not high on their ability to stick with your engagement.

    if I see anything that I think I might like to inspect further I have learnt to do one of the three things.

    1. check Xbox marketplace Games Demos and Arcade
    2. check PSN Store for demo
    3. check on Steam.

    By now if a game is not there then it might fade pretty damn quick from my perception.

    Adverts in this context need the real world equivalent of the sky red button reminder.

    QR codes go someway to to this and more will come along but when i read this blog post what I come away with is that adverts are sticky but links are to loose.

    whatleydude Reply:

    This: “Adverts in this context need the real world equivalent of the sky red button reminder.” is a great shout. Spot on in fact and exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.

    But the implementation of this is the intriguing part for me. QR codes are one way forward, definitely. This is fairly niche, but if it’s an Xbox game and I snap a photo of the image with a WP7 device, then my Xbox app on-device should know that and then perhaps tee-up that demo download.

    Dots. Connecting.

  5. “if it’s an Xbox game and I snap a photo of the image with a WP7 device, then my Xbox app on-device should know that and then perhaps tee-up that demo download.”

    I have a blog post coming up on RickyCadden.com shortly that alludes to this, somewhat. It’s a great example – the console players are largely trying to ignore the mobile market, and it’s to their own detriment. We have our phones with us ALL-THE-TIME.

    whatleydude Reply:

    Mate. We are *so* aligned on this it’s ridiculous.
    I’m travelling for a bit over the next couple of weeks but if you’re looking for additional comment, drop me a note before publishing – I’d happily offer up a quote.

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