Friday, November 18, 2011

Target Audiences in Advertising

Everyone is talking about the NDA drop and SWTOR.

I wanna talk about WoW. Because I'm a rebel. Or something.

So, a little tidbit off of MMO Champion from today:

"This Sunday, an all-new World of Warcraft television commercial will debut on CBS during the Chargers-Bears NFL game (kickoff time: 1:15 p.m. PST/4:15 p.m. EST). The ad is set to air sometime during the first half… and when the star of this spot asks, “what’s your game?” you’d best have an answer ready."

 The Cataclysm commercial as well was aired during the Super Bowl. Now, I realize that WoW attracts large audiences who undoubtedly come from diverse backgrounds. But when I think of the target audience for World of Warcraft, I don't think of this:

Those guys don't look ready to raid anything but a keg. But you know what? They may just play WoW.

Last time I talked about target audiences, I talked a bit about the phrase "It's not for you." Many people who keep up with gaming news are aware of Nintendo's infamous declaration that they were no longer targeting gamers with their products. I am curious if WoW is going a similar direction with that. Let's face it: I can't find many bloggers on my blogroll who still play WoW anymore, and if they do (as I mentioned in a previous post) they have to justify it. Sometimes at length, over a series of posts analyzing it to assure people that their experience was, god forbid, actually enjoyable.

Is that the general consensus amongst gamers? Though we have few sources (read: none) to back this claim, many have mentioned that WoW is many people's first MMO's, or even their first games. 12 million could possibly be more than the amount of people who consider themselves gamers in the US alone.

So perhaps Blizzard is no longer attempting to target WoW towards gamers, and instead trying to catch new customers in their nets. They still have Starcraft, Diablo and Titan to cater to their fanbase, which is a far cry more than the subtle middle finger Nintendo is giving us. But why football games? I mean, I understand the superbowl due to the high amount of people who watch it who aren't football fans, but why not the World Cup? Or maybe Shark Week? Hell, even during an episode of Family Guy would work pretty well.

I don't claim to know much about football fans, as I was raised in a household that loved baseball (despite being the odd one out who didn't like sports). So you could say my impressions are fairly minimal. But of the impressions I have, I can't put together WoW and football in many ways. Except maybe the rampant swearing during competitive matches, but that is more of a universal constant.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is this simply Blizzard's attempt to advertise outside the gamer crowd and change WoW's target audience, or is there something about football fans that would make them enjoy orcs?

1 comment:

  1. I have no interest in football, neither the normal nor American variety. But I've often been amazed at how many people in the general chat channel of will ramble on enthusiastically about the sport, especially on game day.

    So I don't see this as an attempt to market outside the gamer crowd, I see it more as evidence that football tends to be fairly universal and hence is a good venue for advertising dollars.