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Post news RSS Our "Gumtree Gonzo" Marketing Campaign

We recently posted a "fake" ad on Gumtree (an online classifieds site) to promote our game. We wanted to see what would happen. This is what happened.

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Last November, we released our game Square Off on iOS and Android. It’s a 2.5D twin-stick shooter where you take on the role of a square-shaped hybrid mutant created by a crazy professor to stop aliens from invading earth. And as you might imagine, we wanted to tell the whole world about our game. The problem is that we didn’t have much money. So we did what we could with what we had – we placed a free ad on Gumtree.

On 18th of December we published our ad. We placed it under Jobs > Volunteers. Before we went “live”, we decided to put in a few extra bits and pieces to make the ad seem more real. We set-up a LinkedIn account for our Professor under the name “Claus von Zwerg”, in case someone did a Google search for him. We also bought a sim card with a mobile number. We recorded a voicemail message by the Professor (in a German accent of course) for the people who would phone in – it had instructions to visit a shortened url link directing to a micro page on our site.

15 minutes into the campaign, the fun began – that’s how long it took to receive our first email. 24 hours later, our ad received over 500 views. By 36 hours, we were 9 views short of reaching 800.

During these 36 hours, we received 15 emails, 7 text messages, and a few phonecalls regarding the ad. Here are some of the emails that we received (minus the blanked out names for privacy). They range from funny, serious, to right down aggressive.

You can see the rest of the responses on our blog here: Gnomicstudios.com

On the stroke of 36 hours Gumtree decided to pull our ad from the Volunteers section. They placed it under their Video Games category – right down to page 18. And that’s when our campaign pretty much stopped.

You can still see the ad on Gumtree
here, but unfortunately the views counter was reset when the ad got bumped in the video games section. However, the phone number still works, so don’t be shy, and give us a call – we would love for you to “come on board”.

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