Words On Wednesday

2015-11-04 Fallout 4 Advertising

Being a fan of the Fallout series, I’m excited about the upcoming release of Fallout 4. However, my own appreciation of the series aside, Bethesda has done an amazing job of advertising and building momentum for this game.

Fallout Shelter

Not necessarily JUST an advertising ploy, Fallout Shelter gained a lot of attention for Bethesda and the Fallout series.

With no requirement other than a current smartphone (which is practically a non-issue now) and no charge to download, FS was and is a great way for those unfamiliar with the Fallout universe to get their feet wet in Fallout lore without dropping a ton on a console or gaming rig and investing large amounts of time in a game. Sure, the amount of lore in FS is far less than what you get in even a tutorial of one of the main game series, but that isn’t what matters. People are exposed to the series, have some fun playing a mobile game, and possible develop a curiosity about the series as a whole. That’s enough to get them talking about the game, which ultimately increases the popularity of the series.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Videos

Anyone who’s played Fallout games knows about the SPECIAL system, but Bethesda took this and turned it into a series of 7 staggered videos, essentially with each as a distinct trailer for the game.

This, to me, is an absolutely genius marketing move. Instead of blowing a huge advertising budget to push slick commercials on television, make some original and entertaining footage, throw in some info and teasers about the game, and release it on YouTube. The most dedicated fans are already going to be following Fallout news and likely subscribe to Bethesda’s YouTube channel. They see the video, send it to friends, share it on social media, and generally disperse it at literally no cost to Bethesda. Rinse and repeat 6 times, compounding the hype with each new video, more people are talking about a series of YouTube video advertisements than would ever have even seen or paid attention to a standard television commercial.

Nuka-Cola Quantum

Everybody loves real world merchandise, so releasing a Fallout-themed soda on the day the game comes out is probably the ultimate finisher for an advertising campaign.

I’m led to believe that Nuka-Cola Quantum is just a rebranding of a blue raspberry soda from Jones Soda Company. Does this make it any less appealing? Not in the slightest. Fans are going to be raving over this, saving bottles for nostalgia pieces, and falling all over themselves for a real world Nuka-Cola Quantum. Doesn’t matter at all if they could’ve gotten the same soda in the same bottle with a different label for months or years before.

Plus, as a Target exclusive, people can’t pick up the drink in a gas station or grocery store. Know what else Target has, or will have when the soda is available? Fallout 4. I guarantee you, at least a handful of people will go in to pick up some Nuka Cola and walk out with Fallout 4, even if they didn’t intended to buy it originally. It may be a negligible number, but it builds hype and sales for what is looking like one of the biggest advertised releases from Bethesda yet.

Honestly, I won’t be playing Fallout 4 extensively for a very long time. I don’t have a PS4, I’m not looking to upgrade for… probably another year at least, and my PC won’t run the game. I may (read “almost definitely will”) play the game on a friend’s Playstation when he brings the game up, but it won’t be at any length, and certainly not enough to get deep in the story. Even still, I’m getting all caught up in the hype and it’s very difficult to dismiss that.

The hype train is chugging along at full speed. Hop on or get out of the way. Choo choo, mo’fudger.


Words: 661 | Characters: 3685 | Sentences: 32

Paragraphs: 13 | Reading Level: College Student


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