DragonKnight (User)

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"Respect is not something to just be given. It is the result of accepting principles as worthwhile."

XB1M13 And Stealth Marketing

DragonKnight | 530d ago
User blog

Hello everyone. Before I get into the blog, I would like for you all, if you would, to go to youtube and put XB1M13 into the search bar and look at the results.

Done? Ok. Now, all of the videos you've seen that contain that tag and the word Machinima, or contain no gameplay videos, are videos talking about that tag. The rest of the videos that contain that tag and gameplay or Xbox One UI footage are all A)Morons (which I'll explain later) and B)Sellouts whose videos you shouldn't bother watching.

Why am I saying these things? Well, the answer to that question lies in the other videos that talk about that tag and Machinima. To give you the gist, Microsoft has partnered with the Youtube partnership group known as Machinima to buy positive press on Youtube.

How are they doing this? Well, rather than go into a detailed explanation on it, I'll simply link one of the videos that will explain it better.


Now that you've seen the video, and know about Microsoft's partnership with Machinima, let's get back to the A and B points I made earlier.

A)These people are morons. Why are they morons? Putting the tag XB1M13 in the title of the video immediately violates the contract they agreed to because it is exposing that channel as being part of the program and thus being paid to give nothing but positive coverage about the Xbox One. That's a no no as part of the contract agreement, and these sellouts will receive nothing.

B)These people are sellouts whose videos shouldn't be watched. The people partaking in this partnership have compromised themselves. Their opinions can't be trusted because they are bought and paid for. Every member of the Machinima network is a potential sellout and should be avoided.

So what's the problem here? What Microsoft is doing is just paid endorsements that we see professional athletes do all the time right? Wrong.

When someone does a paid endorsement for a product on television, it is a legal requirement that the consumer be informed that that individual is in fact being paid to endorse that product. When you see someone like Michael Jordan endorsing Hanes underwear, you can bet that somewhere (whether it be fine print, a fast talking voice, or whatever) there is information that that person is in fact being paid for positive coverage of that product. This is to prevent disingenuous or false advertising.

What Microsoft is doing is including a clause that states that no one participating in this program is allowed to say they are part of the program. Essentially they are trying to make it seem like these people are genuine in their endorsement of Xbox One when in fact they may not be and are only doing it for the extra $3 per 1000 views their videos get. This is disingenuous advertising and is illegal. Take a look at FTC guidelines for this kind of advertising and see for yourself.


What I'm taking away from this though is that Microsoft is clearly afraid. That they need to resort to paid positive press (alliteration FTW) on YouTube to sell their product shows a lack of faith in their product and that it can and will sell on its own merits. The basis of this fear eludes me as the Xbox One is selling pretty well at the moment, but this move just highlights the fact that Microsoft is A)Completely out of touch with pretty much every consumer base there is for the Xbox One (minus die hard blind fanboys who know who they are and will likely make comments here), and B)Completely disingenuous and untrustworthy.

If they are willing to go this far just for positive press, who's to say they won't go further? Can any positive coverage of the Xbox One be considered genuine and legit, or was it simply bought by Microsoft under a contract that forbids saying it was a paid endorsement?

Perhaps that last bit MAY be a tad on the tinfoil hat side, but it's not without merit given the XB1M13 program that currently exists.

Every move that Microsoft has made currently shows that they have little to no executive focus. They must feel like they need to buy positive coverage because they aren't seeing the fervor from the core gaming audience, or the interest from the casual gaming audience, that they so desperately want and/or need.

What Microsoft is doing though is just a part of the huge problem with gaming press in general. If it isn't Microsoft buying positive coverage, then it's publishers using advertisement dollars and game copies to exert pressure over gaming journalists.

So remember, every video that you see with the tag XB1M13, or is part of the Machinima network and is talking about anything Xbox One related, don't trust what's being said. The potential for that uploader to be a sellout for Microsoft is quite high. Would you really want the advice of someone who has put their channel up for sale like that?

Imagine the Kinect 2 was such a terrible peripheral that it couldn't register dark skinned people, would only work if you had a 200 Watt bulb pulsating in your living room, and got hotter than the sun but every Machinima based partner told you that it was the greatest device ever conceived of. Then you get it home and can't use it. That's the kind of thing, though exaggerated, that could happen.

In the end, the products should speak for themselves. Paying people to only say good things about your product makes it seem like you're trying to cover up some kind of monumental, or numerous, bad things that you really don't want getting out to the general public. Part of being out of touch though means that you don't understand that the kinds of people that would actually look for this information, also know that you're paying for positive coverage. Either make a product that can stand on its own merits, or don't make a product at all. And most importantly, don't try to buy positive press, and also tell people to stop "wasting their time on platform superiority."

NewMonday  +   529d ago
They can just simply change the tag, it's impossible to trust any XBone related video from now on
Kayant  +   529d ago
That's a bit much.... But really if you want to know who is legitly might be in the campaign then use this user script with Greasemonkey ---> http://www.neogaf.com/forum...

For chrome install tampermonkey.
#1.1 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
pyramidshead  +   529d ago
This is brilliant lol
XiSasukeUchiha  +   529d ago
XD this deserve a desperation of 10/10.

MS's only answer now is money! (talking about XB1M13)
#3 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Kayant  +   529d ago
Welp.... Damage control or someone has been fired? --> http://www.neogaf.com/forum...

Also AngryJoe has confirmed it to be true. Man we really need to know what is going on here I need to blacklist down people that do this kind of deals regularly with companies.
Godmars290  +   529d ago
Its not like anything regarding MS or the Xbox brand has come off as being "off". Like with the original Xbox. As it only fell behind the PS2 and matched the NGC in sales, most sites and game industry personalities only really talked about it was "#2".
Noobz1   529d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(1)
Noobz1   529d ago | Trolling | show
Christopher  +   529d ago
In the end, you can't change the facts. Sadly, people don't look for facts to make a choice in product, they look for hive mentality.
DragonKnight  +   529d ago
Yeah that's certainly true. Even here, on a site where the core gamer is mostly seen, you'll see people saying "I'm getting this because all my friends are there" rather than getting it because they want it themselves and think they can enjoy it themselves.

It's still illegal to do this kind of thing though. That's the big part about this. I don't know how MS got away with it other than no one knew about it until it was too late. Apparently this promotion was over 5 days ago but news of it didn't hit the mainstream gaming journalism sites until a couple days ago I believe.
DragonKnight  +   529d ago
@Noobz1: I'd have replied to your comment directly, but clearly people think that you're trolling. I personally don't think you're trolling, I think you're just being a... well *insert colorful adjective here*

1. You didn't answer my question. You merely misdirected answering it by once again focusing on your opinion of me. I asked you why you are so concerned with what other people are saying and I suppose your answer is "All you do is come here to bash Microsoft." So yeah, wonderful answer.

2. Firstly, you don't have the authority to state whose opinions are valid and whose are not. The beautiful thing about opinions is that, as long as they are relevant to the topic at hand and aren't egregious errors (for example saying that it is your opinion that water isn't wet), then all opinions are valid. Secondly, you once again completely misdirected and focused your attention solely on me without answering the question. Why, since you have such a huge problem with opinions (or rather mine) do you waste your time continuing to read them and then complain about them?

You don't want to see my opinion, you don't like hearing it, yet all you do is look for it, read it, then proceed to complain about it. Do you enjoy wasting time? Is there literally no other topic for you to focus on that you have to just whine about what someone is saying because you want things to be the way you want them on this site and that's all there is to it?

So your answer to "why do you waste your time reading blogs/comments you don't like from people you know you won't like" is to say "All you do is hate on the games I like." And I'm the one that is supposedly avoiding answering questions and misdirecting?

Now then, you didn't answer my questions so I'm technically under no obligation to answer yours, but I'm going to anyway.

Don't misunderstand criticisms of Microsoft products as an inability to not appreciate games or gaming in general. This idea that only positive things should be said and only opinions of people who want to say said positive things matter is exactly the kind of problem this blog talks about. Don't try and tell me what I want. If Titanfall were a PS4 game, I still wouldn't want it. If XB1 was exactly the way it is now except made by a different company, I still wouldn't want it.

I love the attitude that the only reason a person criticizes something is because they are jealous that they don't have it. If criticisms didn't exist, which you seem to wish were the case, then games would be more expensive, littered with restrictive DRM, and released completely broken to be patched at a later date because these companies would know they can get away with it and be met with complete silence because of people like you.

I have my greener pastures to focus on, but the beautiful thing about opinions is that they don't have to be limited that way. You clearly like to focus on seeing what I say that you don't like and don't want to hear and ignore when I say things about games and products that I do like. That's fine, that's your problem not mine. But get used to seeing opinions you don't like, that you don't want to hear. You've been on the internet long enough, I know you're just a new account of an older member, so if you can't get used to seeing these kinds of things then do us all a favour and go back to Neogaf where you think it's paradise and stop crying about people's opinions. KTHNXBYE.
#9 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Noobz1   529d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(1)
LoveOfTheGame  +   529d ago
1. Isn't that exactly what you did with your first reply to him. Just avoided the question by focusing on your opinion of him.

2. I don't think water is wet, it only makes things wet. Like fire isn't on fire but it can make things on fire....IDK I'm probably just thinking too much about it lol.

I thought we talked about this before, conciseness is key in articles and, more in this case, comments.

OT: To keep the mods from crying I will state my opinion on this. A lot of companies use marketing similar to this, I don't particularly agree with it, but I've always been on the side that thinks the consumer should be aware of what they are buying. This does not excuse a company straight out lying to you like "we will never charge for online play", lol.
LightofDarkness  +   529d ago
You have to wonder why they do these things, probably knowing full well that somebody was going to tell everybody else about it. How absolutely braindead are MS's marketing department? First the reveal, then this. Axing Mattrick and Ballmer wasn't enough to right the ship, it seems. Their entire marketing department needs to go. They simply do not know how to market technology, end of story. They barely seem to understand how social networking works, for god's sake.

A real pity. The Xbox brand was all about gaming up until 2008, once Mattrick and co were handed the reins. Now they're just another gaming company dying on its feet by trying to please casual audiences, except apparently trying to please casual audiences from 5 years ago. I simply refuse to buy an Xbox One until I see that their focus has returned to gamers. If that day comes at all.
#10 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
SilentNegotiator  +   529d ago
Let's be honest though. Imagine you're a partner, gaining thousands of views, maybe acquiring 50K per video. You get offered an EXTRA $3 per thousand views...that's $150,000.

I would take it in a heartbeat. Call me Whore McGee, that's beautiful home in the country money.
Kayant  +   529d ago
"EXTRA $3 per thousand views...that's $150,000."
The campaign cap is $3,750 it's not even a good deal :p

Edit --> More info on who is in this campaign so far ---> http://neogaf.com/forum/sho...
#11.1 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
LostDjinn  +   529d ago
Okay Whore McGee. Feel better?

OT: I think this one will sting a little. MS needs all the positives they can get right now. Being busted misleading consumers isn't going to sit well with people.

Edit: Because there's no d in sit.
#11.2 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   529d ago
Umm, $3 per 1K views and 50K views is $150, not $150K dollars.
SilentNegotiator  +   529d ago
How did I even come to that conclusion without stopping and thinking "Wait, $150,000 for 50K views? That makes no sense"?

I'm downright embarrassed.
#11.3.1 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report
SilentNegotiator  +   529d ago
I honestly have no idea what I was thinking when a wrote that comment. Obviously 50 * 3 isn't 150K.

I missed that detail. Not that it matters since I was doing drunk math and that wouldn't even begin to tickle the limit.
#11.4 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
dedicatedtogamers  +   529d ago
We have stuff like this, and yet there are people (outside of the shills and astroturfers, of course) who seem genuinely puzzled - even upset - that people don't like the Xbox brand. It's like the Twilight Zone in the game industry sometimes. Oh, no no no no PLEASE don't give valid criticism to my favorite gaming company! NO! I don't want them to improve at all. If you criticize Microsoft, you must be a Sony fanboy!

Funny. So-called "Sony fanboys" saved the Xbox One from the brink of destruction by complaining about the DRM policies while certain other people sat on their hands and sang hymns to Microsoft.
#12 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   529d ago
More horrible business practices by Microsoft ..... Typical at this point.
wynams  +   529d ago
From ftc.gov
"Under the new guidance, this means advertisers should ensure that the disclosure is clear and conspicuous on all devices and platforms that consumers may use to view the ad. The new guidance also explains that if an advertisement without a disclosure would be deceptive or unfair, or would otherwise violate a Commission rule, and the disclosure cannot be made clearly and conspicuously on a device or platform, then that device or platform should not be used."

seems at odds with
"You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement, including, without limitation, the Promotional Requirements, and the CPM Compensation, listed above. You understand that You may not post a copy of this Agreement or any terms thereof online or share them with any third party (other than a legal or financial representative). You agree that You have read the Nondisclosure Agreement (attached hereto and marked as Exhibit “A”) and You understand and agree to all of terms of the Nondisclosure Agreement, which is incorporated as part of this Agreement."

So please, join me in filing an FTC complaint to get this trash cleaned up!
_FantasmA_  +   529d ago
EA is doing it too. M$ and EA go together like Satan and Sadam Hussein. They both have the $ame mentallity and greedy thirst. They are bad for gaming.
NYC_Gamer  +   529d ago
The real blame goes to Google/other media sites that push paid promotion...There can be no unbiased advertisement once monetization is involved.
#16 (Edited 529d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
chaosx  +   529d ago
What if they were there opinions anyway and got money for nothing more than saying what already believed??? that doesn't make them morons…. that makes me like money.

Im sure this isn't the first time a company has bought/ manipulated the media to favour there product.

You can only rely on public opinion for so long. PR companies have been doing this stuff for ages ,

MS really needs a new PR company , maybe they should make a call to the guys that handled Sonys PS4 launch, those guys have there shit sorted…. ;-)
CrossingEden  +   528d ago
I wonder if the author of this blog realizes that the promotion only lasted for two whole days, from Jan 14-15th is when the promotion lasted and ended. So you just wasted your time on something that ended a week ago, great job.

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#18 (Edited 528d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   528d ago
I wonder if the author of the comment I'm replying to realizes that he/she is a troll and that Microsoft actually had these campaigns 3 times and that the fact that they are currently over is irrelevant.
starchild  +   528d ago
Well that's it. It's in the past, so we can't talk about it. At least according to the logic of fanboys like DragonKnight and dedicatedtoSony.

Don't bring up the fact that Sony has been guilty of just as many shady business practices, because supposedly that's all in the past and irrelevant. We're supposed to believe that Sony is different from other companies and different than it has been in the past.
GiantEnemyCrab  +   528d ago
As Boogie said MS isn't the only company that does this. The guy deals with this stuff a lot. I don't like the practice but I gather my opinion from several sources and their isn't some small ad or a single site that makes it for me. These consoles have a return policy, if you don't like it after 30 days go get your money back if you feel you were misinformed. I bet most kept it.

This ranks up their with using CGI to sell your game for more than it is.
#19 (Edited 528d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
maniacmayhem  +   528d ago
So why is it Microsoft doings? Didn't they hire Machinima to do their promotions. Machinima are the ones who wrote up the contract and offered the contract to youtubers.

Shouldn't this accusation be placed on Machinima. MS, like any other company went through another party to provide positive coverage of their product.

"That they need to resort to paid positive press (alliteration FTW) on YouTube to sell their product shows a lack of faith in their product"

Xbox One is only a million or so behind PS4, I don't think it has anything to do with lack of faith. Coke spends BILLIONS on advertising even though they are number one in the great Pepsi/Coke wars. Advertisement is apart of business, has nothing to do with a lack of faith in product.

Also, unless I missed the part in that very long winded contract Machinima never stated you HAD to say positive things about Xbox One or it's games. It's just you had to show footage, state it's on the Xbox One and not bad mouth the product. Which is understandable since you are paid to show it off.

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