This series documents my adventures in ultra low-budget, grass roots marketing attempts to drive traffic to my game portal sites, with the hopes of breaking even at $33 a month. For other articles in the series, visit the Pimp My Portal special feature page.
i love two things in this world: taglines, and deadpan humour. And … oh, and physically fit young ladies with no moral compass. They’re pretty good too. But taglines and deadpan humour, in lieu of such ladies, are pretty darn good.
Slogans and deadpan humour: no match for a narcissistic young woman with a webcam, but still in the running.
By taglines, i’m talking about the punchy slogans and sayings which (often punnily) augment a product name. Ferinstance:
Randall’s Ski and Snowboard Shop: This Time, It’s Seasonal
Galaxy Scoops: In Space, No One Can Hear Ice Cream
That type of thing. The tagline for Spellirium, our upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure/word puzzle game, is
Spellirium: It’s the End of the Word as We Know It
(i thought this one was downright clever, thank you kindly.)
i wrote a tagline for ZombieGameWord, too:
ZombieGameWorld.com. Check your braaaaaains at the door.
Hilarious. i could write these things all day. Seriously. Someone give me a job writing taglines all day, and i’ll die happy. (And early. Possibly from something i caught from a young lady with no moral compass).
Erm … i’m getting sidetracked here. What am i doing? Coming up with taglines for young ladies with no moral compass?
Young Ladies with No Moral Compass: Guess Ho’s Coming to Dinner
No – wait. We were talking about ZombieGameWorld, weren’t we? Alright. Steady on.
So i love taglines and deadpan humour, and i decided to combine them BOTH in my plan for Internet domination, which involves buying video testimonials from people on Fiverr.com. Many of the Fiverrers will shoot a testimonial by reading your script, which struck me as awesome. Not only are they gonna say nice things about the site, but i’m going to tell them which nice things they’re gonna say? For five bucks?? Unbelievable! Talk about having no moral compass.
“You know what i think is great? Genocide.”
Uh … Line?
i got to work writing scripts for the Fiverr folks willing to shoot testimonials. i tailored each script to that person’s unique – ahem – talents, in the hope that their acting chops would be decent enough to get a few good jokes out of them. (i was to be somewhat disappointed, as you’ll see in the next few articles)
The scripts i wrote were all dead-pan and straight-laced. A crucial part of the ZombieGameWorld brand is that it assumes the zombie apocalypse is either going to happen, or has already happened. It’s never a question of “if” the walking dead are going to infest polite society – only a question of “when”, and “how many bullets am i gonna need”?
Protip: the bigger the zombie, the larger the ammo requirement.
So these scripts all involved the actors mundanely discussing how the world’s changed now that the zombie apocalypse is upon us. The trouble is that i had each person end by saying the site name and tagline, “ZombieGameWorld.com: Check your braaaaains at the door.” When the “actors” say this line, it kind of breaks the immersion that they’ve built up throughout the video. It’s like ending each video with “JUST KIDDING! JAZZ HANDS! AH CHA CHA CHA CHA CHAAAAAA! *WIIINK!* BA-DUM CHING!” It’s more than a little obnoxious.
Bobby Bittman has no place advertising zombie game portals.
My remedy to this was to find a Fiverr.com voiceover artist to record the tagline, which i then appended to each video. My intent was that the “sanctity” or honesty of the deadpan bit would remain intact, while the sting at the end would sort of let the audience off the hook. They do this in on-air ad spots all the time. There’s probably a term for it, but i don’t really run in those circles so i don’t know what it’s called.
The guy i found to record the tagline is named Eric Saint John, who’s entirely too talented to be giving his voice away for next-to-nothing. i can only imagine he’s using Fiverr as a promotional tool to drive brand awareness (much like i am!) And i think it worked. Not only am i profiling Eric St. John in this post – i’d definitely consider using him again for a longer-form production.
Here’s Eric’s gig that i bought on Fiverr:
And here’s a video of him in action on another person’s order (along with some tips for aspiring voice over actors):
Here’s what i asked him to do:
Eric did not deliver what i wanted, but he delivered exactly what i asked for! He did one take in the Dracula voice i was describing, which helped me to realize i wasn’t actually thinking of that voice. i still don’t know how to describe the voice in my head or where it came from. But Eric gave me exactly what i requested. He’s like a machine. It’s scary.
Here’s the boatload of takes he delivered for five bucks:
UPDATE: As fate would have it, i was queuing up old movie trailers to watch with my daughters, and when i hit the trailer for Little Monsters with Howie Mandel, i realized the trailer guy in THAT clip has the voice i was trying to describe to Eric:
Anyone know whose voice that guy’s doing? i’m a stickler for trivia.
The Final Cut
In the end, i decided to use Eric’s slightly radio-guy-esque second take. i fooled around with the ZombieGameWorld logo to give it a little more spunk, and grabbed a sound effect from my collection to tie it all together. This is what i ended up with:
Pretty decent for five bucks! And now i’ve got a good-looking, good-sounding tagline that i can add to all of the videos i order on Fiverr.com.
Now let’s take a look at how the marketing effort is going.
The World’s Most Meager Marketing Budget
Original investment: $100
- ZombieGameWorld tagline voiceover – $5
Game Portal Balance Sheet
(period spanning March 1 2010 – February 22 2011)
WordGameWorld: 5604 Visits, 5.39 Pages/Visit, 3.00% Bounce Rate, 3:49 Avg. Time on Site
ZombieGameWorld: 3121 Visits, 3.85 Pages/Visit, 30.99% Bounce Rate, 5:17 Avg. Time on Site
Prepare Ye the Way
The ZombieGameWorld tagline isn’t meant to be a standalone piece, so i didn’t post it to many video sites – and therefore, i can’t report on whether or not it brought any traffic to the portals. In the next article, I’ll add the tagline to the end of a bona fide Fiverr testimonial and upload it live to the world, to see how the World’s Most Meager Marketing Budget stacks up against my earlier efforts.
Stick with me, for it involves bewbz. (Talk about young ladies with no moral compass.)