Only hours after Microsoft defended a stealth marketing campaign in which it secretly paid for Xbox endorsements on YouTube, the company killed the operation. Did Microsoft do it of its own volition, or was the Federal Trade Commission on its tail?
No, they killed it because it became to public.
we don't know how many other deals MS have set up, this was the only one exposed.
@newmonday You are correct, but the same thing can be said for Sony, Samsung, Apple, or any other electronic company. This practice is not anything new in the marketing world.
except Sony don't have the cash to buy fake hype, the whole MS business model is based on buying popularity.
EXACTLY Sony doesn't have the cash to run this type of promotion. However you best believe if they did, they would be doing the same thing like the rest of these companies. Sony is in a far worse situation than the other big companies in the industry. I mean Nintendo which is strictly a gaming company is worth more than the ENTIRE COMPANY OF SONY (not just the gaming division). Who is to say that the "hype" is fake though? If I were to say "dead rising is a pretty cool game, the amount of zombies on screen is amazing, its an xbox one exclusive, and I am enjoying the game so far". Is that being a liar or being fake??? That is how I really feel about the game.
yes, how can I tell if I don't know you? one way is to be more articulate in describing the experience, why is something "AWESOME", then I will see if I can relate to that or not.
You won't be able to tell either way if you don't personally know me. There are people out there who have agendas (negative or positive) out there right now, who are not being paid. Based off of your comment history, I could just assume that you are being paid by Sony to prevent people from purchasing any MS product. That doesn't mean that you are. Honestly people need to to just judge for themselves, and not depend on Joe Shmoe to help make decisions for them. That's what I do. However if you are having a good experience with a product that YOU BOUGHT I see no shame in sharing that experience with the world, paid or unpaid.
From my history you can also see me criticise KZ:SF and GOW:A, and wrote a blog critical of Sony. What I look for in a review is information not opinion, if someone can explain the experience or demonstrate it in good way that should do. A big reason I'm skeptical of the recent Titanfall hype campaign is the lack of real information about a game only weeks away, dose anyone know what the plot is about? How does the campaign work out in a MP only game? What are the MP modes?
Thank god for NewMonday to run to Sonys defence in this MS centric article. All major companies/conglomerates use "underhand" marketing or promotional methods. If it's legal, shows some success, they'll try it.
@MELMAN26 - "I mean Nintendo which is strictly a gaming company"... think it's safe to say that Nintendo has never been just strictly a gaming company. You do realize Nintendo was originally founded Sep. 23, 1889 (not a typo either) correct? They've also dabbled in just about most any business venture to come along, and I'm pretty sure still do.
@NewMonday: Odd, so you're saying Maria does this all for free? Wow... Mister Hirai doesn't even have to pay his employees anymore, I'm sure Samsung and Foxcon would like a word with him on how to do this and save even more! :)
I don't really like this kind of marketing, but it's not very high on my list of concerns. When videogaming is as filled with fanboyism as it is, you should never trust anything you read or watch at face value. Does it really matter to me whether somebody is saying something positive about a particular product because they were encouraged to through monetary compensation or simply due to mindless fanboyism and loyalty to a company or product? No, it really doesn't. In either case people may be misled. And there are millions of fanboys spewing propaganda for free. I think of youtube users like RajmanGaming that produce thousands of videos and have fairly large followings, yet are some of the most biased and radical fanboys that you will find, and I simply can't muster much outrage or concern about companies paying users when they make positive comments about their product and not paying them when they don't.
@MELMAN26 Buying positive reviews is cheating and immoral. It's criminal to bribe people to tell a lie, these are not ads where Tom cruise comes and tells you to use certain product because in these ads we know these people are being paid but here bribing people to lie as a fact, is criminal, giving bogus information or advice or to deceive you to buy something that maybe if you know the reality, you will not buy.
When everyone tries to justify a bad action by saying everyone else does it they are essentially condoning it. I see alot of people condoning what MS did... To me anyone caught doing this should be spoken out against. Why anyone would attempt to justify such a practice undermines everyone's ability to receive credible information on gaming products. Such deeds should be shunned regardless of who is doing it... let's take the fanboy goggles off for a moment and and act a little more like the supposed community where we want what is best for all gamers. Encouraging ms's actions isn't doing that. If you want to bust other companies regarding their poor practices, find the proof and expose them in another article. This only stops if a strong enough message is sent making it no longer worth the risk. If Sony or nintendo or Activision or other companies are doing this then finding the proof should take about as much effort as some of the lame excuses I'm reading in these comments... Anyone who is a true gamer should be upset by this regardless of what company. It is a complete disrespect to all gamers and implies that the way to succeed is in treating people like sheep..
So Sony doesn't have what $10K for a viral campaign like this? What?????????
yeah. They stopped because the got caught lol. otherwise they'd be continuing.
"Sony doesn't have the cash to run this type of promotion." Of course they do. It's actually a very cheap method of promotion for MS.
In general everyone knows this goes on, it's not really the market buy that people were upset about it was the terms of the NDA but everyone seems to want to focus on what isn't important about the story, "this kind of campaign happens all the time" that isn't what is important it's the fact the NDA appeared to make a requirement to break the law by not telling people the participants were paid spokensmen.
@ Peope saying Sony wouldn't have the cash. How much do you guys think that costs? It doesn't cost a fortune. On topic, it fits MS to do that, they needed to have MS employees at the reveal to cheer and clap to make it look like people are excited about changing the chanell via voice commands.
I thought it ended because they reached their target numbers?
Yeah, it reached it's $3750 limit a day or so ago. Here's the actual email. http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv... Nothing in the instructions says to review anything. It says it's to bring awareness to the Xbox One.
Yup.. When guys are making a game video.. Having them mention which platform they are using is not the same as a paid endorsement.. They weren't required to say anything positive.. Just mention its running on Xbox, which would be a fact.. Unbunch your panties.. Lol
Microsoft is pathetic.
tru dat or if you prefer i think this fellow just stated a truthfact dear chums
Their standards are pathetic. Their actions are what I would describe as "slimy". Head down, tail between your legs, Microsoft.
Good thing MS still have shame left...
You never know~ they may not be retreating but reloading. As Jim Sterling said, "Be jubilant but stay vigilant."
Em so they essentially paid bloggers etc. to advertise their product? Obviously they had to put in a clause saying comments must be positive so they don't have to pay people for slating their product. This isn't that different from product placement like people using iphones in movies. They pulled it because of half the internet will seize any opportunity to b**ch about MS
There was no clause stating you had to praise Xbox One. The only requirements were 30 seconds of footage within the first two minutes, MENTION that you're playing Xbox One, and not to say anything negative about MS, Machinima, or any game. http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv... What they did technically wasn't illegal I don't think. According to the FTC if you "endorse" a product you must have a disclaimer. Here's the definition of endorse. en·dorse verb 1. declare one's public approval or support of. Stating that you're playing on Xbox One isn't stating any approval or support. It's simply saying that you're using the console at that particular time. I don't see why I'm getting disagrees. I guess it's a fine legal line however the wording is quite clear. If a Lets Play Youtuber plays a game and says they're playing on PC, does that mean they approve of the game and PC? No, it means they're playing a game they may actually hate on a device they may not prefer over a PS4.
Sorry, so they pay to advertise it still. This really isn't as bad as people are making it out to be. When I started seeing the headlines on this site I thought MS were soing something really shady...turned out they were paying for advertisements - shock horror
You get disagrees as you state facts that people do not like to read. For more bubbles and agrees paste the following: *Gifs of Khaz Hirai doing the Banderas head thing. *Say how much you'd like to make love to your PS4. *Call Nintendo Kiddy and that they lose because of that. *Spell MS as M$. And I'm sure there are others :).
@Dehnus Cry more. MS isn't high on a lot of people's list of respectable companies for a reason or 2. For a lot of people it's not just blind hate or a giant man crush on Sony.
Did it have to explicitly state that you HAVE to say something positive? No. It CLEARLY states that you cannot say anything NEGATIVE about it so therefore what's the opposite of negative? Positive! Why would they pay you to remain neutral? That makes no sense, they obviously didn't want to word it in a way that sounds like they are telling you how to behave, but they certainly ARE telling you how to behave indirectly though, contracts are worded that way all the time. What's the entire purpose of advertising something? To get it out there to the masses, right? By saying something POSITIVE it adds VALUE to the product! If you remain neutral and are only saying "I'm playing The Witcher 3 on Xbox One!" how is that going to garner any interest in the game alone? You have to say something positive about it in order to gain interest.
You'd think Element-X was a Microsoft lawyer. Look at you just sprinting to bat for them. You truly do LOVE Xbox. Like... Love it....
@ElementX You've given the definition of endorse, now give the definition of disclaimer. No one has issues with endorsing the xbox, they have issues with the disclaimer, or lack thereof. By putting restrictions on what can or cannot be said (no negative views) and agreed to, by the content creator, the review has been skewed in favour of the xbox. If negative opinions are removed from the equation, what's left can only be neutral or positive. That to me sounds like an endorsement. Bottom line is, if they're being paid to put the xbox in a positive light, they need to make clear that they were paid to do so.
I have PS4, PS3, Vita, 3DS, and Xbox One, in addition to my PC which I use most for gaming. I am a gamer, not a fanboy or spokesperson for any company. I'm just tired of misinformation being spread and all the hate going on in the gaming community. It's immature and dividing everybody into different camps. We all enjoy games and that should be enough. We shouldn't have to label ourselves or each other or talk trash about people with different preferences. Furthermore it's sad to see 30 people say M$ sucks in every Xbox article. If you don't like it fine, but at least contribute something to the conversation rather than say something sucks.
@ElementX In regards to the last portion of your comment, your logic is flawed on the approval or disapproval of the PC. The review or content is about a particular game and not the hardware and would be titled appropriately. If you're talking about a game, the viewer is reading/watching only where the game is concerned. Unless the title and content is offering the opinions of an alienware PC, the point is moot. If it was, The agreement would stipulate that the alienware PC had to be mentioned for 30 seconds within the first 2 minutes without any negative comments. By your logic, a game or console review could be extended to say that you either endorse or denounce the chair that you sit on while playing. Lastly, to further my point about reviews being skewed, lets take Kotaku's review of Battlefield 4 and apply Microsoft's/Machina's campaign agreement. Original review: the single player certainly isn't worth your time, but multiplayer is as fun as ever so far. Waiting until public servers are up before we make a judgement. (positive) Effective new modes, naval combat, creating new pathways on multiplayer maps by destroying everyting around you. (negative) Vapid singleplayer campaign with a terrible protagonist, bugs and crashes. Should you play this game? Not yet. Fixed with microsofts agreement: multiplayer is as fun as ever so far. Waiting until public servers are up before we make a judgement. (positive) Effective new modes, naval combat, creating new pathways on multiplayer maps by destroying everyting around you.
@gunnhed The logic isn't flawed. You are required to state that you're playing the game on Xbox One. That's completely neutral and it fulfills the terms of the campaign. If a Youtuber decides to take it further and praise the Xbox One, that's completely up to them and not necessary per the terms. You don't even have to mention what you think about a game. You can say "Ok now I'm going to show Assassin's Creed on Xbox One" and then show footage, allowing viewers to decide for themselves if they like the game or not. You could say things like "we just landed at the docks and so and so is going to trade sugar". "At this point we follow him through the market place to the tavern". You keep saying "review" but the campaign was to show games running on Xbox One, not review games or hardware. JUST SHOW FOOTAGE. Your logic is flawed because "review" is only mentioned here: "You acknowledge that Machinima shall have to sole right and authority to review each Campaign Video that You make" That is the only instance of that word mentioned in the terms.
@ElementX It is flawed regarding the example of playing a game on a PC. unless the promotion/review is for a game made to play on a particular brand of PC, the fact that it's played on very specific PC hardware is pointless. In this instance, the game must be played on an xbox one, to promote the xbox one brand and games. Here are 3 identifying points regarding microsoft's/machina's contract: 2. "You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video; 3. "You must feature at least thirty seconds (:30) of gameplay/footage of any Xbox One game within the first 2 minutes of Campaign Video 4. "You must verbally mention that you are playing the game shown on the Xbox One console." Your point about playing a game on a PC neither promotes nor denounces a particular brand of PC. PC is a generic term that encompasses a vast amount of hardware manufacturers. An endorsement would benefit all PC manufacturers. When applying that logic to microsofts agreement, it wouldn't be mentioning the xbox one, you would have to refer to the product as just a console. no brand attached to it.
Micro$oft got caught panties down ass out. Straight out embarrassing.
pff and I got slated other day for calling out fake hype on games! Il stick to my guns as always! The gaming community Is gullible and naïve... MS,EA,activision etc know how to sell hype and product!
Bravo M$, your clearly aiming to top your 2013 year of FAILS. How's next on there list to get fired?
We all know microsoft are willing to do the "180 of shame" by them selves after another monumental **** up!
And another one bites the dust.
The damage is already done. Most people will not believe reviewers or people talking about xbone because the first though that will come to mind is "are they getting paid to say that?" "is that game being rated with high score just because Microsoft paid the reviewer? " And this is just one case cough by the public eye, imagine how many more of this kind deals Microsoft has made.
It seems like Micro$oft is being ran by a bunch of monkeys lol!!!!
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