4/04/2008

RROD: a powerful and useful viral marketing tool? Not certainly for Microsoft!


The infamous “Red Rings of Death”, in time, has become an incredibly influential communication device for Microsoft & Xbox360 competitors. Without any doubt, for a long period, it was the only way to attack, more or less directly, a good product (well, at least until the XboxLive Service collapse during last Christmas).
The strength of RROD as a marketing tool resides in two basic aspect. The RROD phenomenon presents, in fact, an actual name and an actual logo, and both create a wonderful and unique marriage together!
Think about it. It is obvious. When you can call a phenomenon like this by name, you give it a character and a personality. Moreover, RROD can also be represented visually, and let me say, with a powerful and charming image!
Many videogame platforms in the history of this Market have passed trough technical issues, especially during the first years of their life (well, is common knowledge that practically all new products experiment technical issues during the firsts months after the launch… tank you early adopters!). However, RROD is an exception. Maybe it represents a unique case in the story of this industry. Just consider the buzz it has created. There are thousand of web pages portraying the infamous images of RROD, and even the notable site IGN.com has named the Xbox360 podcast (Three Red Lights) after the RROD.
Could you being able to imagine a more efficient and effectiveness way to communicate and promote a technical failure to a mainstream audience?
I bet that in the future, Microsoft engineers will think twice before insert this kind of feature within their next console!
Anyway, it is important to state that not only the competitors, Sony and Nintendo, have used the RROD for their own interests and purposes.
In the end, also the owners of the Xbox360 enjoy the relevance and the public status that the RROD acquired in the time being. Past July, in fact, Microsoft expanded Xbox360 warranty coverage to three years, and it even offered reimburse to users who have already paid for the repairs to their consoles. It was, without any doubt, a monumental and wise decision. And certainly it was a painful one for the Company of Redmond.
RROD clamour could have instilled some suffering in the Xbox360 fan base, but after all, it has helped greatly the Xbox360 customers.
What do you think about it?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A great marketing tool... for failure!

Sandra Davis said...

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