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ArtofWarLLC
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I was thinking why does the gaming industry mostly market to only its gamers? Why not a larger crowd?

If chess had a huge TV commercial (made by all the chess companies, like the milk commercials) Don't you think that chess sales would go up nationwide?

Dralius
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ArtofWarLLC
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No I mean overall. In example I didn't know anything about fantasy flight or days of wonder till I got into the business. They should have a more general presence. We all should.

Dralius
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ArtofWarLLC wrote:
No I mean overall. In example I didn't know anything about fantasy flight or days of wonder till I got into the business. They should have a more genral presence. We all should.

Gama was selling the idea that games are fun for everyone.
What would the Got Chess comercial do that the GAMA comercial didn't?

ArtofWarLLC
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Chess was simply just an example. What I'm trying to say is that (I manage a retail gamestore, have been to gama and *wish me luck will have a game out soon) being in the industry I don't see the overall mass marketing that I think board games deserve. And I'm curious if it was mass marketed would it become larger, a lot larger.

*sorry if the person who created the game is on this forum. (great game)

I see games like "Spank the monkey", come into my store. I can't help but think who are they marketing this game to? The only people I can think of is people who already play games. But I know plenty of people who don't play games, because they walk into my store every day (Its in a mall) And I explain or even play these games with them, and they go "WOW".

Gama is a gem of a resource, and I enjoy going every year. What they do for the industry is awesome, but my thread is just to talk about how would the industry would change if we made boardgaming a larger trend?

Chad_Ellis
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The problem with advertising is twofold:

1. It is VERY expensive.

A single full-page color ad in a magazine like InQuest or Dragon costs thousands of dollars. That's just for a magazine aimed at gamers. Let's say you want to advertise in Newsweek...your full-page color ad will cost you over two hundred thousand dollars.

In order to have any chance of "sticking" an ad campaign has to run over a decent period of time, say 3 months of full page and 3 of half-page. That will run you close to one million dollars...for one magazine! Conventional wisdom on the required budget for a broad-based brand launch in the US is mid-8 figures.

2. It often accomplishes very little.

How many ads do you see every day? How many really have an impact with you? We love games so we naturally think that others would too, but most people won't be intrigued by an ad for Settlers or other board games.

Julius
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
The problem with advertising is twofold:

1. It is VERY expensive.

A single full-page color ad in a magazine like InQuest or Dragon costs thousands of dollars. That's just for a magazine aimed at gamers. Let's say you want to advertise in Newsweek...your full-page color ad will cost you over two hundred thousand dollars.

In order to have any chance of "sticking" an ad campaign has to run over a decent period of time, say 3 months of full page and 3 of half-page. That will run you close to one million dollars...for one magazine! Conventional wisdom on the required budget for a broad-based brand launch in the US is mid-8 figures.
Well, as someone with a marketing background, I can tell you that certain advertising is expensive, but you really need to look at your CPMTM (cost per thousand, target market)... essentially figure out what it costs per 1000 people who are interested in your product/service/message and market to that.

Magazines are often prohibitively expensive. Television as well. If money is an object (probably), you would be better off using something like radio, newspaper, or even just a bunch of posters in local game shops to drive sales.

You could also host a "reading" like authors do with books, but talk about your game and game design instead of your latest work. You could autograph copies of your game, too.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
2. It often accomplishes very little.

How many ads do you see every day? How many really have an impact with you? We love games so we naturally think that others would too, but most people won't be intrigued by an ad for Settlers or other board games.

One ad accomplishes nothing. You might as well throw your money away. Studies show that people need to see an ad 5 to 9 times before it "sticks," whether it is relavent or not. I bet you aren't in the jewelry market, but you could rattle off a place or two where you could buy a diamond ring, couldn't you? Or how about a few car ads in your area.

The margin for profit in games is so small though, that you are correct: Mass marketing for games is not effective. However, a little localized marketing wouldn't hurt. You might find that by hosting events (talks, game design workshops, gaming parties, etc.) you get more word of mouth and sales than you would otherwise.

Imagine sponsoring a "Game Night" at a local store - buy a bunch of Pizza, set up a table display of your game, and have one or two other tables around for people to play it. Probably get more sales than a poorly placed ad in a magazine.

soulbeach
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I like the points your making Julius. I will use these to promote my own designs.

Thanks for the hope filled tricks of the trade!

larienna
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Consider that there is also a category of people who thinks that games are for kids only and that all gamers are immature people. The problem is that it`s not all people who want to play games. So making advertisement won`t make them buy the game.

Make a test, take a good game from your store that can be easily learned by anybody, including your grand mother, place a table outside your store and invite people to play the game. You`ll see that there is really few adult that would like to try playing even if they have the time.

Julius
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Larienna wrote:
Make a test, take a good game from your store that can be easily learned by anybody, including your grand mother, place a table outside your store and invite people to play the game. You`ll see that there is really few adult that would like to try playing even if they have the time.

I agree that many people do not play games, but that's a poor example of explaining it. I play games, and I don't think I'd approach a table outside to play some new product.

The trick is targetting. You cannot use the shotgun approach to advertising for a niche market. An ad for a board game in Rolling Stone or Maxim is going to be less effective than an ad in Dragon. To the original poster: completely ignore people who say advertising doesn't work. They assume that the only way to advertise is to blast everyone (even those who don't care) with your message. It isn't (despite the fact that many advertisers use this way). Advertising to a niche market works, but you have to approach it with some thought.

For example, Radio Control Cars are a hobby of mine. How many billboards for RC cars do you see? Any ads for them in popular magazines? On TV (other than gimmicky ones for kids that come out around christmas time)? Answer: None.

But RC cars require advertising to sell. HPI's New Savage (the Savage X) is something I've been drooling over for a few months now. They advertise the hell out of it, but not through traditional channels. You'll find ads in targetted magazines (RC Driver, for example), and in hobby stores. Less money in a targeted ad campaign can be more effective than an expensive shotgun approach, and this is how they make their sales.

The same thing must be applied to board games. Don't assume that a TV spot, or a spread in Newsweek is going to help. It won't. But hit some local game stores and see if they'll put up a high-quality poster that you made at Kinkos. Send off a few review copies to editors of some gaming magazines (there should be a few). Host a competition, and flyer for that at a local university. There are many ways to get the message across, but you save tons of money by only talking to those you know are predisposed to listen.

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