Marketing Flirtatious: Goofing around or Flirting?
I had a very interesting chat recently with Liam Boogar from rudebaguette. I was presenting him Flirtatious (invite code “cool25”), or actually more like letting him try it out.
I had been mailing him for a few weeks trying to get him interested in checking out the game. And he didn’t seem that keen to do it. But when he played, he looked surprised and said it actually wasn’t creepy at all. I’ll admit this was a bit hard on the ears, as numerous parts of the design of Flirtatious are made so as to push away creepiness, but an essential lesson of communication is that there is a world of difference between what you try to say and what the other person actually understands. So Flirtatious, or at least my way of presenting the game, was coming accross as creepy.
This is very bad news for my approach to marketing the game, to say the least, and a possible explanation as to why two months of launching efforts only yielded very few positive results with press and bloggers. Flirtatious is designed as a flirting game that is a game at heart, NOT some sort of gamified dating app. It’s only through playing fun and shared laughs/references that Flirtatious may allow people to connect with one another. But since I thought saying “this game is fun” isn’t exactly something differientiating, I have focused on the flirting aspect in presenting the game. This hasn’t worked nearly well enough this far, so if it did indeed cross the frontier into CreepyVille, I needed to find another approach.
This is when Liam goes and says, “to me, this is more like goofing around”. This is when the veil tore before my eyes. Learning the US banter & goofiness, poking fun at a braindead job with Arnab Chanda before his comedy career took off, using French-accented nonsensical humor to try to get girls to like me back in the days of living abroad, it all came back. And I felt like Liam’s remark was obviousness starting me in the face.
Since the start I’d been saying that no matter what would happen if two people got in touch through Flirtatious, at least they’d have a fun time together. Because the players would be in a goofy mood from the get go, and because they would leave their ego aside, they would just joke around freely and have fun getting to know each other. But the key here is more being goofy than being flirtatious.
So a rebranding around goofiness is on the way. I hope this will stamp out the potential creepiness factor. This goes to show discussing a project as widely as possible is ALWAYS beneficial, not that all advice should be listened to, but when you suspect something’s wrong, you’ll recognize instantly good criticism. It’s Occam’s razor, in science or business, the simpler the theory, the more likely it’s right. After turning it on all sides, it does seem like goofiness is both fun and very simple. Let’s go.