In this on-going post I am highlighting marketing tactics of a ‘questionable’ nature.
No 1. “The XBOX Live Tile”
Long before the Marketplace and Windows Phones became publicly available I had a meeting with a Microsoft evangelist and enquired about the use of “XBOX live” in one of my apps (“Shove Ha’penny”). I wanted to utilise ‘turn by turn’ but was told this functionality was reserved for apps that were considered ‘la crème de la crème’. You can tell I was a bit peeved by this (if not plain insulted) and I felt comfortable (if a little naughty) when it came to designing the ‘lite’ (free) version of one of my most successful apps ‘Ultimate Fart!- utilising the style of the XBOX Live apps in the design of the icon:
The proliferation and high availability of fart machines has brought about the need for a new defining application, one that sets a new standard in fart machines, the so called ‘Ultimate Fart Machine’.
All well and good, and I am of the opinion that the XBOX Live Style, along with the natty tag line(above) both contributed to the apps on-going success.
But all good things must come to an end and today I received a friendly note from Microsoft:
It has come to our attention that the icon for your application, Ultimate Fart (Lite), uses brand elements from the Xbox Live Windows Phone application template and thus may cause confusion for end users. We ask that you submit an update by Wednesday, May 18 at 5pm PST with an original icon. By doing so, you will be able to retain ratings and reviews which will be lost if the app needs to be removed.
Thank you in advance, we look forward to seeing your updated app icon soon.
Windows Phone Marketplace Policy team.
So alas this at best, ‘dubious’ icon style is now officially frowned upon (I will be updating the icon as soon as I get my dev machine back – those that follow my tweets will know that I spilt half a can of coca-cola on it yesterday!)
So this is No 1 in a series of items in this ‘Gorilla Marketing section’, which I will add to this post ( stay tuned for more …)
No 2: “Kit out your comments”
If you have something relevant to add to a popular blog post or news article then your comment can also be a ‘marketing opportunity’.
I would warn that this method is not only dubious, it may result in you being banned from certain sites. Be careful out there!
NB The link in my comment takes you here
NB Ultimate Fart (Lite) is available here
“If you must have a fart app you might as well make it the best”
NB I am also soliciting Microsoft to look at creating some sort of ‘rough guide to marketing Apps’ – not sure what format this will take yet but if you like the idea please vote for it from the link below:
Vote for this as a topic for future attention from Microsoft.