02 February, 2011

The Power of Mocketing

Poking fun at your competitors in advertising campaigns is like the Slant-N-Go of the marketing playbook; a surefire hit.

Taking two familiar brands and putting them in the same spot with the purpose of exploiting or exposing a weakness of one of the brands amounts to some pretty funny commercials.

Recently we've seen it done with:
T-mobile and AT&T

Pepsi Max and Coke Zero

And who can forget Apple and PC; thanks to that campaign, I was introduced to John Hodgman and his wonderful books on important knowledge.

There's another type of mocketing going on right now, involving something right up my alley: video games.

On February 22th, a new first person shooter video game will be coming out. The problem is the market is oversaturated with FPSs.

The difference with this game, named interestingly enough Bulletstorm, is that it's not your average, gritty, hyper-modern war game. It has specifically veered away from the Halos and the Call of Dutys to carve a niche for itself as an outlandishly, over-the-top FPS. The weapons are ridiculous, the characters, the color palette, everything about it screams "don't take me seriously."

Bulletstorm, created by EA, Epic Games, and People Can Fly, has had some really great, satirical mocketing.

First up, they did a great take on Halo 3's Believe campaign. Here's the original and then what Bulletstorm did. Notice the difference? Notice the hot dogs?

Two days ago, they released the free to play PC game Duty Calls which is full of rips on the Call of Duty franchise. Here's a video of the ENTIRE GAME being played.

With each of these spots they have consistenly mocked the status quo of FPS marketing and pushed the boundaries for what consumers will find acceptable; a perfect example of a well-executed mocketing campaign.

What other brands do you enjoy showing up together?

Sean Sutherland Associate Account Executive/Professional Mocketer

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