Yesterday, I covered an advertisement meant to help geeks lure other geeks into their cellars. Today’s advertisement is also aimed at the nerd crowd, but it’s for nerds who have given up on everything, much less love.
All nerds love video games. The nerd introductory scene of any movie always features the nerd playing a video game that he couldn’t possibly be torn away from, despite Reese Witherspoon’s presence. It’s only until they tell the nerd that he has a more difficult, but still video game-esque, challenge ahead of him (We have to hack into the school’s mainframe to get the test scores! And only you can get past the firewall!), that he begrudgingly leaves the laser noises playing in front of him.
Nerds enjoy video games so much that you only have to present the scantest amount of information in order to get them haphazardly clicking on any flashing ad that comes their way. The first thing you notice here is the image of the robot, machine gun hands blasting at nothing, with an eruption of red and yellow (fire) behind it. Nevermind that this robot immediately brings copyright déjà vu to anyone who’s ever seen Robocop, or anyone who’s ever seen any movie by anyone inspired by Robocop. The fact that it’s a robot should be enough to get nerds climbing over each other, in a World War Z frenzy, to click the button that will allow them to pilot whatever it is I’m supposed to be looking at in this ad. Will you get to play as the robot? Will you be shooting the robot? No one has any idea, but hey, nerds, have you heard?
Giving it a name would risk spoiling the whole thing. Besides, from the picture alone, hundreds of titles pop into your head that are better than anything that a video game creator could think up (My personal favorites are Robots n’ Guns and Bot Gun: Fire Frenzy 2). Therefore, the people behind the ad decided to list some of the appealing aspects of the game. Three, in fact. The first is that it’s in 3D. There’s no telling what the 3D will actually look like, and as anyone who’s played video games in the mid-nineties to now knows, bad 3D ends up looking like Lego afterbirth. But then again, it’s 3D. It’s hip. It’s cool. It’s new. “3D” means that the game is modern and high tech. “3D” means if someone walks in on you playing Robots 3D: Operation Explode, their first thought won’t be Why? It will be Rad.
The second is “STRATEGY.” This is another word built to appeal to nerds, because strategy means smarts, and who are the smartest, most robot-loving video game players in the world? The guy who took two seconds to write this ad knows the answer to that question. Will it be tactical? Will it be math? That really doesn’t matter. The game involves “STRATEGY,” and you’re a more intelligent person for playing it.
The third is “GAME,” so that people know that they’re going to play a computer game, and that they’re not just clicking on an ad that will take them to a website full of actual, explosive robot battles.
Finally, you can “PLAY FOR FREE,” which is a good bargain, considering that the ad gives us no real information to gauge whether or not we’d want to pay for the thing. But it’s free! It might be a strange ad, situated in the dark, bottom right corner of the computer screen, seeming like something you’d accidentally touch, rather than willingly aim your cursor at, but at least you know that you won’t have to write your credit card number. And free is a pretty good price for futuristic, battle robot somethin’s. Right, nerds?