2K Sports Could Have Avoided Its Un-Skippable Ads Backlash If The Ads Were Better Content

from the advertising-is-content dept

For over a decade, we have been trying to drive home the point that advertising actually is content and that content is advertising. It's a mindset sort of thing, but one that is incredibly important in an internet age where so much of a revenue emphasis is on ad-driven business models. The point of this all is that you can make any advertising included in a good or service all the more effective if --wait for it -- your customers actually want and enjoy the ads. If they're engaging, useful, or funny, the normal complaints you hear about commercials and the like simply melt away.

But if your ads both suck and you force them on your customers in a paid-for product in the most ham-fisted way? Well, then it turns out you're 2K sports.

One of the many shitty things about the NBA 2K series is the fact that, for the last few years, there have been unskippable ads that sometimes load before a game. This year is no exception.

The ads usually turn up as part of a pre-game video, and while in previous years they’ve been for brands like Converse and the TV show Snowfall, this year it’s an Oculus Quest commercial that’s got fans upset.

I'm a fan of the NBA 2K series, but it is undeniable that this is the worst part of the franchise. When it comes to pissing off your own customers, who are often paying $60 for your product, there is no more comprehensive way to irritate them than by forcing advertisements upon them that are shitty and not useful. While this practice would be irritating for any game, it is especially so for NBA 2K, which is a retail game customers pay for and which already is chockablock full of in-game sponsorship advertising to go alongside microtransactions. And making the ads un-skippable seems to indicate just what media the 2K Sports folks think they're delivering, because this is more of a television thing than a practice for video games.

Meanwhile, gamers are generally pissed, enough so that 2K Sports responded with a tweet.

It's frankly quite hard to believe them, given that this has been the norm and the public response to it for some time. And, again, what if the ads were good? What if some real effort was made to put in content that was relevant, entertaining, or useful? Do we really think 2K Sports would be getting the same backlash?

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: ads, advertising as content, nba 2k, video games
Companies: 2k sports

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2020 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 3rd innocuous!

    So, since defunded by GOOGLE and diminishing number of readers, what good is your stance on advertising?

    What a balloon ego, Timmy, that you think can advise a far larger company on its practices!

    I've been fighting active blocking that stopped working sessions, apparently okaying each, but with the usual holes, so why do they bother? Anyway, you're welcome.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.