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iPhone: Malibu Bowling - An Ad For Alcohol

04-29-2009, 11:49 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
Malibu Bowling - An Ad For Alcohol

Link

So Malibu Bowling was just released, a free game which is obviously little more than an advertisement for their brand of rum.

I never really considered the iPhone as being a place for companies like this to advertise their products, but with other games appearing, like the VW driving game, BMW, and all the free movie games, it's becoming clear that many companies are using this platform as an ad machine.

Just wondering how people here feel about Apple allowing an alcoholic beverage to be advertised on the iPhone, which is all this game is. What if cigarette companies want to do the same? Or Viagra, or gawd knows what else?

I can see a car company releasing a car driving game, but for Malibu to create a bowling game to advertise their booze...I don't know, it kinda rubs me the wrong way.

I like to drink and I am far from being a prude, but I'm not sure I like this idea. It opens the door for a lot of different things. What about Jack Daniels, Budweiser, etc etc? Marlboro? We all know Apple is inconsistent in their policies. In most countries you have to be of a certain age to drink alcohol. Should Apple allow companies to do this on a platform that caters to people who are both above and below legal drinking age?

Do these "games" exist on the PSP and other platforms, or is it just the iPhone, since it's much cheaper to develop, and even easier for users to download?

Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this. Hell, I worked in a bar/club for 4 years...as I said I'm no prude. I just woke up so my brain isn't running at full speed just yet.

I just realized I may be posting this in the wrong forum, so I'll ask this too...is this game any good? Anyone try it yet? There
04-29-2009, 12:00 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 858
Well, at least it's free and not $4 like Dairy Queen's match-3 game!

I don't really have a problem with this. If people are worried about "the children", then they need to place the impetus on the parents. Parents should not expect Apple to play sandbox guardian. If they are giving their kids free access to the App Store without looking at their purchases, then that's their own problem. Look after your kids, people! Your OWN kids!

04-29-2009, 12:04 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I agree on that. I have no kids so it is no concern for me. Parents need to stop blaming everyone else and take care of their own bratty kids.

I guess it's not such a big deal. I mean we can choose not to download it. I guess if I owned a tire store I could create "Schplurgs Tire Store FPS Bonanza!". Gawd what if every business in the world starts doing this? LOL, we'll need a "advertising section" to go along with the mythical "premium" one
04-29-2009, 12:08 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
I have less of a problem with this than I do with free games that interrupt play for random ads. Being the father of a couple of young children, obviously I don't want something that is directed to them specifically being an ad of alcohol. In this case, I don't see bowling as something that appeals directly to kids...at least not like a "Mario" type game would. You see a bunch of alcohol ads during other supposedly "family friendly" programming like football. It does have a 12+ rating, which is actually kind of funny because I don't think you can buy alcohol at 12 even in Kentucky. There was at least one other instance of this BTW, with the free Grolsch air hockey game (fun BTW).
04-29-2009, 12:09 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Meh. Nothing new, really. Carling released iPint way back to pimp Carlsberg beer. Oddly I don't think this one is available anymore; it's not on the App Store anywhere. Nevertheless it was there... simple game of slide-the-beer-across-the-bar, with a bonus iBeer-like simulation of a pint of beer (which, in my personal opinion, was better than iBeer's.)

I'm not particularly worried about it. It's not really much different than branded merch from brick-and-mortar stores, except that branded promotional apps are usually free, and in this market, widely accessible. I don't think it's going to promote drinking though; any kids impressionable enough to be persuaded to drink by this game probably can't even afford bum wine anyway.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
04-29-2009, 12:19 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7
I think its fine, parents should be monitoring what theire kids are dowloading\playing anyway. Though i havent looked into it, i am really suprised if that there isn't some sort of block from allowing kids to download anything from the app store, considering most aren't paying the bill.
04-29-2009, 12:24 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 858
To be honest, I'm less concerned about the actual content (for the children's sake!!), and more concerned about the eventual marketing stunt graveyard the App Store could become.
04-29-2009, 12:37 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 323
I don't see it as bad thing if games are designed as ads. With the amount of money that some companies drop into advertising, hopefully a couple of good games would come out of it. If they are nice playable games, I wouldn't really care if the content is one giant ad.

...excepting the eventual freecreditreport DDR style game is released. They can keep that one...
04-29-2009, 12:38 PM
#9
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
To be honest, I'm less concerned about the actual content (for the children's sake!!), and more concerned about the eventual marketing stunt graveyard the App Store could become.
Probably not a whole lot worse than game consoles and PCs have been in the last decade and a half or so. Remember Zool? It was a big ad for Chupa Chups. Pushover and Pushover II? They stumped for Quavers. Doom III integrated ads and 3D models for Dell products. Granted, these aren't alcohol, but advertising in games is nothing terribly new. There's a much greater chance of reaching a target audience on the App Store, and it's a lot easier and more cost effective to do so, so it's expected that there will be more attempts at brand marketing here, but I doubt it'll become one big series of interactive commercials with a few legit games buried underneath.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
04-29-2009, 12:43 PM
#10
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
To be honest, I'm less concerned about the actual content (for the children's sake!!), and more concerned about the eventual marketing stunt graveyard the App Store could become.
Yes, that is actually my biggest issue with this too. I guess the fact that it is alcohol really brought it home for me though. Should Apple think twice about letting blatant ads into the store? But then again, how could they. Ads are already in other games, plus Apple's policies are a bit strange and inconsistent anyways.

Maybe they will need an ad section of the store if this gets carried away LOL. No, really...