You’d think a website like Chow.com with a name that’s a synonym for both food and the act of eating would have no problem attracting Gamespot.com’s audience. Based on data gathered from myself, people who visit Gamespot are mainly interested in video games and people who are mainly interested in video games are totally interested in eating.
So I was surprised when I visited Gamespot.com and saw a Chow.com ad that didn’t include any mention of chocolate or things fried in butter.
Instead of a food ad, Chow.com decided to go with a hangover cure ad. This struck me as a little disingenuous. I mean, come on Chow, you know you’re targeting Gamespot so you can get all our bacon-drooling asses over to your giant food recipe site. Were you worried that a food ad would be too transparent? Were you worried that if you put up something like
the sweaty mass of acne and AC/DC shirts that comprises the Gamespot community would riot and tear down your website? Chow.com failed to realize that any anger brought on by a food ad could quickly be extinguished by offering some type of fast-food coupon since, statistically speaking, the people mad about the ad would be the people with blood atomically closest to tapioca pudding. Here’s a helpful graph.
I actually find Chow.com’s hangover ad a little insulting. I interpret it as Chow.com thinking that all us pudgy-thumbed gamers over at Gamespot see drinking as the peak of coolness and that any ad mentioning drinking, hangovers, or Miller Lite will automatically get click-throughs.
But I think that a jokingly insulting food ad would get a lot more clicks. I like to think that I’m a part of a group of people who don’t mind being made fun of as long as it’s honest and humorous. I would much rather have seen any of the following ads than that hangover ad.
Those three ads, while pointing out that Chow is interested in Gamespot because the Gamespot population likes food, are all more honest than that hangover ad. In the end, people who click on that hangover ad will never feel like they are genuinely wanted in the Chow community. They will only feel duped by a marketing tactic.