Friday, January 9, 2009

Where no marketing has gone before

[Okay, so here's a post that's not so depressing.]

I've seen this ad on Facebook a few times for a laptop.  (Of course, now that I want to find it, I can't.)  The ad is saying that if I buy their fabulous Intel laptop, I'll get early access to various bits of behind-the-scenes Star Trek movie content.


Who thought that would sell a laptop?  "Oh, I was going to get the new MacBook, but then I saw that this laptop came with behind-the-scenes Star Trek movie content, and I was all like, 'holy crap! I gotta get me some of that.'"  What I fear is that that might sell a laptop to someone.  The ad might actually pay for itself.  I hope it doesn't.  For a while (maybe still), Dell was selling hugely-overpriced World of Warcraft-decorated laptops that came with a key to get you into the beta, and a coupon to get a custom figurine made of one of your characters.  That's at least something.  But who would base their decision on what computer to buy on a few links to pre-release cast interviews (or whatever)?  I think those people scare me.

This sort of promotion certainly isn't unique.  Some movies and games and CDs come in a special edition that is the same as the regular one but comes with a DVD of extra behind-the-scenes stuff, for extra money.  The difference is that you specifically choose the special edition over the regular edition, since movies are a lot less interchangeable than laptops, and generally it's only like ten dollars more.  That's a couple orders of magnitude away from the price of a laptop.

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