What Does Mickey D’s Know About Gamer Identity?

After our whirlwind “Science at Play” tour I am finally home and have two relatively uncharted months ahead of me. Lots of writing time I hope. But on this Friday afternoon, I just finished up a draft of an NSF report and I felt like spending a bit of time with my old stand-by, 6-player free Tetris. I put up with the ads in this free game because I play it rarely enough that I am curious to see what is on there.

Today’s ad was from McDonald’s. A series of short clips show “on the street” interviews about what they would want to ask McDonald’s. The questions are not nice. “Why don’t they serve the needs of vegetarians?”, “Is that stuff really meat?”. Then there is an end slide with the golden arches and a web site where you can find out the answers to your questions about Mickie D’s.

This is an interesting advertising approach. Isn’t this the same company that sponsored Lost Ring as subversive advertising? What does it say about gamers that they need an inverted dissing message or subliminal messaging to get them to buy your product? What makes gamers different that you need to market to them differently? What could app ads actually tell us about gamer identity?

I’d love to know if they have a psychological breakdown of gamer identity we could use for our research!


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