16 September 2019 | 17 Comments
I’m starting to wonder if product leaks are a viable and exciting part of any pre-marketing strategy.
I could point to examples like the leaked Deadpool footage that resulted in the film getting made or the plethora of iPhone leaks that happen leading up to Apple’s annual announcement. But I can’t speak to them with any authority–were they real leaks or “real” leaks? I don’t know.
I can, however, talk about some Stonemaier Games information that has leaked over the years. Two of these leaks were accidental, and the third was kind of on purpose.
- Visit from the Rhine Valley: Before announcing the new Viticulture expansion, I decided to change the thumbnail in our e-newsletter to the actual expansion box, thinking it was too small and pixelated for anyone to actually read. Boy was I wrong! Within hours, someone had zoomed in and shared it on BGG and reddit. Here’s the full story.
- Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig: There are tons of Easter eggs found on tiles in this game, including the game storage room. It features a shelf of current and potentially future Stonemaier Games (stress on “potentially”). The text is so small on this tile that most of the words are difficult to read, but some people have deciphered more than I thought possible.
- Tapestry: On the very first day that I started talking about Tapestry, I accidentally revealed the back of the box (which contains, as you can imagine, a lot of information about the game). I was showing the front of the box on my Facebook Live video, and several times I accidentally flashed the back of the box on camera. Some clever folks took screenshots, and soon those images were on BoardGameGeek!
The fascinating thing to me about all of these leaks is that they generate more attention than the juicer and more detailed official reveals for these products. So it makes me wonder if a calculated leak could be a powerful part of a marketing strategy.
Here’s any example, because I think if a leak feels too calculated, it won’t have the intended impact. In the background of my YouTube channel is my shelf of games. I could, on occasion, add an unannounced product to that shelf rather than stashing it away. The same technique could be used for the background of my Instagram photos.
What do you think? Does it no longer feel like a leak if it’s on purpose? In my opinion, as long as the intent is to tease without revealing any real information, it’s just fun marketing for everyone. Can you recall any product leaks that caught your attention?
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