Say what you will about focus groups: they’re impersonal, ineffective, unreliable. But by using focus groups as the concept itself, Electronic Arts has worked the one-way mirror to their favor.
Slimy bastards. They really pulled a fast one on moms with this campaign.
They invited unsuspecting mothers in, one by one, and subjected them to the newest EA video game: Dead Space 2. Each woman grimaced, gasped, covered her eyes, and declared in the end: “I hate it!”
The focus group tape became the ad itself, promising gamers their moms will hate this game — the best badge of excellence imaginable for teenage boys.
Then, to ensure the spot went viral, EA created a hashtag on Twitter — #yourmomhatesthis — and invited guys to tweet their own mom’s reaction to the gore-a-thon. It worked. The spot is on track to get a million YouTube views within its first week of release.
As a mom, I fall squarely into their trap: I HATE THIS DESPICABLE GAME AND HOPE MY SONS NEVER, EVER SEE IT.
Yet, as a marketer, I reluctantly tip my hat. They excelled at the number one rule of marketing: know your audience.