As you may know, the Xbox One is not selling as well as Microsoft hoped. I mean, it is selling well, but it is could always do a lot better. I do believe that it will pick up throughout 2014 anyway so Microsoft does not have too much to worry about (the console does have some of the better exclusives announced at the moment). Now, in a bid to sell more products, Microsoft is engaging in some rather unique (and quite controversial) advertising. This is stealth advertising. Let me explain what that is all about.
Stealth advertising if you are unaware is advertising in locations where you don’t really expect it. The information that you are being presented with appears to be purely editorial. However, it is paid advertising. Somebody is getting money for mentioning the Xbox One name. It is quite a controversial form of advertising because it can really sway somebody’s opinion - particularly if the person that is being paid is quite a respected figure. It can really be tough to know what is true and what is marketing fluff.
So, what have Microsoft been doing? Well, by all accounts they have teamed up with Machinima, a gaming video company. Over the past couple of days there have been a number of leaks which claim that Machinima is paying $3.00 per 1,000 views on any video which includes Xbox One content. Basically, they are paying people to sing the praises of Xbox One. This of course is going to sway a lot of peopleâs opinions. It is believed that around the launch of the Xbox One (back in November) those who posted positive videos on the Xbox One would be receiving $1.00 per 1,000 views. It really looks as though the marketing has been kicked into overdrive.
The marketing promotion was actually originally announced by Machinima in the UK. However the announcement tweet was deleted within minutes. Information can still be found out there though. Check on Poptent for the Machinima feed.
It seems as though thousands of people have started to take advantage of this offer on ‘YouTube’. To qualify they needed to post a video with at least thirty seconds of video game footage. The video also needed to be tagged with XB1M13. At last count there were around 2,000 videos doing this with the number of people with these videos climbing every single day.
So, what type of problem is this going to cause Microsoft in the long-term? After all, people don’t want to be advertised to in this way. Well, my guess is that it is going to cause very few issues. Those who look up content like this will already be interested in the Xbox One and thus the campaign will not cause too many problems. Word seems to be pretty quiet outside of the gaming media too. This is a stark contrast to the issues that Microsoft faced just before the launch of the Xbox One.