Often used simply as a lazy marketing tool during events, a recent test has proved booth babes are quite ineffective compared to regular staff when it comes to promotion.
The test was conducted by head of marketing and growth at Frontback Spencer Chen, and was designed to monitor foot traffic generated between a booth staffed with booth babes, and another staffed with contractors who had an established connection with the local area. The results paint an obvious picture: sex doesn’t actually sell very well in this situation.
The stats show the booth babes attracted only a third of the foot traffic -measured by conversations or demos with reps – and less than half the leads, which was measured by a badge swipe or a completed contact form. The other team had a consistently packed booth that ultimately generated over 550 leads.
This type of reaction from the average consumer extends beyond the booths, and into the everyday gaming scenario. Most people no longer respond to the hyper-sexualization of game promotion, and video games in general, the way some marketers would expect. From the negative feedback surrounding Hideo Kojima’s decision to make certain characters more ‘erotic‘ – which meant removing 75 per cent of the clothing found on Quiet, a character from the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – to the support shown for Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn, who was harassed simply for being a woman and making a game, the way most consumer’s think regarding these scenarios has changed. Most of them finally see these sexist aspects of the gaming industry as indefensible, and are holding those who partake in them responsible.
Chen’s test is a subtle, yet admirable jab to the gaming industry’s jugular, a jab that should frequently turn to a slap to the back of the head when it comes to the portrayal of women in games, and their involvement in game making.