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So, how was the promotion for this game?

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Posted (edited)

I'll never understand why Sega doesn't advertise this game on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, both of which already advertise transforming Pixar Cars toys that turn into planes and Hasbro Transformers too! Why isn't Disney pimping this game as well with Wreck-It Ralph as a starter?

Kids would LOVE this game if they even knew it existed and showed off the transforming more in a commercial geared towards them.

Edited by Ball Hog Badnik

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Posted

What's weird is that they've happily been pointing out the rave reviews on the Sonic Facebook page...and if you follow the Sonic Facebook page you're already aware of the game and whether you want it or not...errr?

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Posted

I'd like to say... back in the 90s, Sega's ad campaigns had been well regarded for their slightly "edgier" approach to marketing games. Just look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp4pg1bOEdM, for example, which is an informercial parody. I thought that was pure genius. Now why didn't they do the same style for ASRT? Or rather, what's the point that made the ASRT advertising so bad like seen in the opening post? Well, in my vision, marketing needs to be two things: widespread and impactful. Here we see neither. I think that's the big problem with All-Stars Racing Transformed in terms of publicity.

Congratulations on the post, Hogfather, very complete.

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Posted

What's weird is that they've happily been pointing out the rave reviews on the Sonic Facebook page...and if you follow the Sonic Facebook page you're already aware of the game and whether you want it or not...errr?

I have never understood this philosophy.

The idea is that you can use Facebook and twitter to promote how good your game is... but if someone has taken the time to register interest on a facebook/twitter page. Then unless the game is getting absolutely crucified in the ratings, aren't the odds already quite high that you're going to buy that game so long as it's somewhere close to 'good'?

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Posted

Old media does that a lot with new media, so I'm not surprised. They just see it as a marketing venue. It does feel like they're advertising a game on a fan site.

As for the topic at hand:

To be honest, I was only somewhat interested in the game until the Danica flub happened, but I guess that's just bile fascination kicking in. It did feel rather under the radar though, kind of like an Atlus game. Considering that it was a launch title for a platform it should have gotten some kind of promotion outside of the south. Maybe Sega wanted to improve the sales in the southern US states.

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Posted

I'll never understand why Sega doesn't advertise this game on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, both of which already advertise transforming Pixar Cars toys that turn into planes and Hasbro Transformers too! Why isn't Disney pimping this game as well with Wreck-It Ralph as a starter?

Kids would LOVE this game if they even knew it existed and showed off the transforming more in a commercial geared towards them.

I don't know if maybe it's just different in your country/state, but I see a commercial everyday, especially on nick.

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Posted

On Disney XD, Transformed sponsors daytimes on the channel and they advertise a competition as well. There's also that bland and generic advert too.

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Posted

Not bad.

Demos were available to play at all sorts of places like Comic-Con (in and outside of the convention center), video game conventions, Boom and SoS, I see the TV ad every now and then, there's the Archie comic, there are toys-but labeled under the previous game title.

Previews for the game before Wreck-It Ralph would've been cool, and some kind of billboard ad like Episode 2 got.

But overall, it received more attention than the last handfull of Sonic games

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Posted (edited)

The game is now Sonic & Danica Patrick Racing Transformed after this commercial.

Edited by Autosaver
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Posted

Great post Hogfather, and you're right, if I wasn't a sonic fan, going to a sonic website, reading a sonic forum, I hoenestly don't think I'd know this game existed. I've seen absolutly nothing in terms of print ads, Tv ads, store displays. Even going into dedicated game stores I still had to hunt quite a bit to find the game.

It's as if Sega have no interest in promoting it whatsoever.

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Posted

Maybe Sega wanted to improve the sales in the southern US states.

I personally think that they simply didn't think the move through properly, and ended up missing the ball when trying to aim for all of NA.

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Posted (edited)

I literally saw the first advertisement for this yesterday (on I think Cartoon Network). I did a double take, even.

And the Danica thing was a joke from the start. I would not be surprised if her inclusion turned more people away from the game than it actually attracted, for a whole list of reasons.

Edited by Tornado

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Posted

The whole Danica thing was probably meant to gather attention for the game rather than act as a selling point in itself. NASCAR is pretty much about a bunch of billboards driving around at 200 miles per hour for 5 HOURS.

With that said, Danica's inclusion was probably more trouble than it's worth, because I could hardly see NASCAR fans and most gamers overlapping all that much.

But I don't think her being in this game was stupid because it had to do with NASCAR. I think it's stupid because Danica Patrick is a real life human being in a videogame. I mean the other 2 cross promotions for the game are brilliant, but Danica stands out horribly.

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Posted (edited)

It's been confirmed that Danica was almost cut from the EU version of the game. That alone speaks volumes. Sega knew that this character/sport has virtually no interest outside the USA, and even then from people talking on here, it's only a few states in the south of the country that Nascar is a big popular thing.

So who exactly was this supposed to appeal to? Nascar fans? Well... heres my question. Why would Nascar fans buy a game that plays nothing like Nascar? The cars are not Nascar, the tracks are not Nascar, even the number of racers isn't the same as Nascar?

Despite a really really obvious joke I could make now, I doubt the fans of Nascar are stupid, I doubt they look at this game and say 'thats a Nascar game!' and I doubt Sega are that stupid to think that they'd go 'hey thats a Nascar game!'

The whole Danica thing was probably meant to gather attention for the game rather than act as a selling point in itself. NASCAR is pretty much about a bunch of billboards driving around at 200 miles per hour for 5 HOURS.

With that said, Danica's inclusion was probably more trouble than it's worth, because I could hardly see NASCAR fans and most gamers overlapping all that much.

Considering that it was a launch title for a platform it should have gotten some kind of promotion outside of the south. Maybe Sega wanted to improve the sales in the southern US states.

I'm hoping (but honestly really doubt) that Sega thought about it a bit more than "NASCAR is popular in America, and everyone talks about Danica, ergo, putting Danica in the game will make it popular."

Because... even ignoring everything else (like how much of a waste it is for anyone not living in America)...

I do follow NASCAR. Not closely anymore, but do watch occasional races and follow news. Everyone talks about Danica for no other reason than because she's controversial. People outright hate her, and a good portion (though probably not even the biggest reason these days, considering how she's acted since joining NASCAR) of why is because of how much of a publicity stunt she was always treated as in any series she is in. They put her name in the new just because they know people will look, no matter how irrelevant the news is. Think of it like when Marvel put Wolverine on covers of books he wasn't actually in, except in real life. Or, as a Formula 1 equivalent, imagine if they spent half of every Formula 1 race talking about Pastor Maldonado even if he crashed out of the race on the first lap. Danica's overexposure in American motor racing alone drives people away from her.

So completely ignoring everything else about her inclusion, to add her to a game as such a blatant publicity stunt... It basically means that the handful of people who actually would be swayed into buying the game because it has an American racing driver in it probably would not just because of who they included. And then they proceeded to make a lot of the advertising about her rather than the game. Sega failed a spot check to the extent of a tourist not being able to find a skyscraper in New York City.

Edited by Tornado

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Posted

You know... it just occured to me...

The Danica Deal. How much money are we talking about here from Segas side went into this? I don't know Danica's Nascar history when it comes to her pit crew and team. Only from what one of the announcers during that race we watched said, that being something along the lines of how Danica has improved a lot since she got a new crew chief or something...

Anyway.

I just decided to google 'how much is it to sponsor a nascar driver/car.'

The figures I'm getting back are staggering. Depending on the driver, the team and the league they're racing in... the lowest estimate was around $500,000! The highest was anywhere upto $25 million!

Now based on this. an article written by popular mechanics at some point before 2009 (can no longer find the original)... here are the costs broken down...

$15 mil. to $18 mil.

Primary Sponsor

For about what 4000 acres of northern Michigan would cost, a sponsor can splash his name on the hood, rear quarter panels, transporter and the driver. Plus, the driver wears his sponsor's hat in the Winner's Circle.

$5000 to $250,000

Contingency Sponsor

Prime real estate on all the cars in the race. Sponsors pay out to the drivers based on their performance. And they can pay NASCAR to be the official whatever: That really drives sales.

$500,000 and up

Personal Endorsements

If a sponsor only contracts with the driver, the logo goes on his suit and he can appear in ads. But nothing may go on the car. Of course, the uniform rarely gets as banged up as the car.

$150,000 to $1.2 mil.

Associate Sponsor

The decklid costs over a million, the quarter panels substantially less. The sheetmetal is all salable real estate priced by the square inch. Prime TV exposure costs. So it's location, location, location.

Take a look at the car again....

7158125787_902b443225.jpg

photo_copy.JPG

Also this is a shot from inside the car during it's first race. Danica is wearing the ASRT/Sega race suit.

brumbrum2.png

Now... maybe... maybe there was some kind of dead considering how Danica, Go daddy and hot wheels got presence in ASRT itself so some kind of reduced rate was paid... but come on, there must have been some major money thrown at this? Based on those figures I found, and they're similar figures on other sites... At minimum Sega must have spent millions just on sponsoring Danica alone to race. There is no way both parties agreed this deal for free. There would have been a big payout to someone... and unless Team Danica suddenly contacted Sega and said 'hey I hear you're making a new racing game...' chances are Sega made the first pitch.

So... what figure are we looking at here? 3? 5? 10? 20 million dollars? For the prime sponsor of a Nascar driver who is well known, no way was this done on the cheap.

Even if by some full moon miricle, Sega only paid $500,000 for Danicas inclusion and all the sponsorship deals... how many copies of the game have to be sold to pay that back alone?

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Posted (edited)

That's for the season, and that would be considered an Associate Sponsor (Go Daddy is the primary). One race deals are much cheaper, and are done all the time at the permission of the primary sponsor (usually for non-profit stuff, though).

Edited by Tornado

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Posted

Ah good point... Ok so one quick google search later.... I get figures of $350,000 - $500,000 depending on the tier of the driver/team.

That is still quite insane sums of money. Looking at a recent race which took place after Texas, it seems that she was back in the green go daddy colours.

But still... $350,000-$500,000... how many copies of ASRT need to be sold?

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Posted

8750 $40 copies, and that's using the low cost estimate. Assuming that "need to sell two million" comment from that new article about characters getting the axe was true(http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a410301/sonic--all-stars-racing-transformed-sumo-explains-omitted-licences.html), that would mean the budget would be...

40 X 2,000,000 = $80,000,000. Assuming half of that was how much the game cost, the budget would be $40,000,000.

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Posted (edited)

That depends on how they did their advertising budget for the game. It most likely wasn't a good use of their money, but if they did that instead of doing the typical TV/magazine spots it might not have been more expensive in terms of raw numbers.

40 X 2,000,000 = $80,000,000. Assuming half of that was how much the game cost, the budget would be $40,000,000.

I... don't think they spent anywhere near that much money developing the game. 40 million is AAA title money, and Sega doesn't make $40 on each game sold anyway.

Edited by Tornado
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Posted

That's for the season, and that would be considered an Associate Sponsor (Go Daddy is the primary). One race deals are much cheaper, and are done all the time at the permission of the primary sponsor (usually for non-profit stuff, though).

Oh thank god. This is bad but not even close to as bad as it would have been if it really was tens of millions of dollars. But yeah, the Danica publicity stunt doesn't even make any sense. I'm pretty much echoing what Hogfather said in the OP but, who the hell is the target audience of this promotion?

NASCAR fans? Most of them wouldn't be interested in an arcade racer.

Kids? They aren't even interested in NASCAR. I mean, those races are pretty boring to watch especially if you don't have anyone in particular to cheer for.

The promotion doesn't make sense for multiple reasons. And if it's not well thought out then they shouldn't throw large amounts of money into it. I often think to myself when I see companies doing really bizarre things "there must be a good reason behind it, trained professionals get paid to think of this stuff". But sometimes I wonder if they really know what they're doing. There may well be a good, sound reason for this promotional campaign but who knows?

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Posted

B-But they're making toys out of her! Hot Wheels.

Remember?

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Posted

B-But they're making toys out of her! Hot Wheels.

Remember?

Yeah I remember... I just don't think Hot Wheels do.

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Posted

The way I see it, their including Danica in the game was not necessarily to target any sort of demographic. More so, they probably wanted to focus on the media spotlight to promote the game. Not too keen on their decision either way, but maybe it's something to explain it I guess.

As for commercials, I have seen some appear on Cartoon Network I believe in the southern US quite frequently.

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Posted

There's a really interesting obscure, kinda funny reason for Sonic to be driving a six wheeled open wheel car, but for some reason danica patrick.

8071677210_8882eaef4e.jpg

It has six wheels but in the wrong place... Someone wasn't paying attention.

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