GameStop Network: (possibly) the World’s worst Advertising proposition

(a.k.a.: “how not to advertise on the internet, lesson 101 for Advertising Agencies who have no idea how “advertising” works, or what it exists for”)

Tonight, as I tried to show someone a game, it took 12 – twelve! – refreshes of this page
before Gamestop would stop replacing a URL with a flash advert for something unrelated.

The advert was for cat food. !. !!. !!!111!!!!!!!11. Some stupid crap that I don’t want, and which Gamestop *should know without doubt* that I’ve seen 50+ times before; they know this because every time I view that page, I’m logged-in to the Kongregate badge-tracking system (via cookies and auth).

(they also know that I have *never* clicked on the ad; it doesn’t take genius to work out that I have zero interest in the product, and that every time they show it to me, they are almost certainly damaging the client – what kind of ad-agency is so stupid as to *not* realise how bad this is?)

Maybe … they are very, very stupid – and deliberately pissing-off players with adverts they’ve already seen – or, perhaps, they are charging advertisers 50 times (or more) to show adverts to the same individuals over and over again. It damages the website’s reputation, so presumably (educated guess) reduces the usage of the Kongregate domain; I’d be surprised if they’re doing it without some kind of remuneration…

(NB: this new take on ads did not exist until GameStop purchased Kong; I feel reasonably confident in guessing that neither of the Greer siblings had anything to do with this insanity)

If I worked for the advertising agency that had an employee who was stupid enough to sign this deal with GameStop, I’d be suing for breach of contract, fraud, or negligence right now; this is *not* how advertising works. Not even the most basic level of 1990’s-era checks have been put in place: IMHO either GameStop is screwing their clients, or they’re just really, really stupid (I’m betting on the latter).

3 Replies to “GameStop Network: (possibly) the World’s worst Advertising proposition”

  1. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. My hunch is that they just implemented a system which hijacks X% of new sessions to display a full-page ad.. and you just got unlucky with their random number generator.

    Of course, they shouldn’t be surprised that the X% chance to refuse to serve content reduces viewers by Y% as well. And that in turn reduces ad revenue.

  2. @Hirvox

    You’re right – I was too tired after a long day (and a 1h journey that took almost 3 hours thanks to London’s public transport), and it’s surely a competency issue, nothing more.

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