SegaNet Dirty Advertising Tactics?

SegaNet Dirty Advertising Tactics?

by December 4, 2000

Take a look at what we found: It’s an E-Mail from Sega.Com to SegaNet beta testers. In it, the recipients are asked to essentially spam popular message boards with positive experiences with SegaNet:

INCOMING COMMUNICATION FROM SEGACOMMAND

ACCESS CLASSIFICATION: TOP SECRET

SUBJECT: SEGAMASTERS’ COVERT MISSION:

Attention SEGAMASTERS,

As you may already know, you are part of the core of the SEGANET beta test community and have been chosen to earn some cool rewards for helping out SEGANET with some cool online mission. This group you are welcomed in to is called the SEGASCOUTS. This will eventually be open to the entire SEGANET community, BUT your group, our testers, are the elite, you are the top dogs and have been named The SEGAMASTERS. This is based on your loyalty and dedication to help us make our SEGANET SITE and your gaming experience the best it can be.

We are establishing a dedicated web site just for you and your fellow SEGASCOUTS. It will have information on how you can help us online with missions other than BETA TESTING. These missions will typically involve your participation in online posting missions. We need messages taken to the gaming community through any and all of the gaming forums where you can go post your opinions to help support SEGA and SEGANET. In return we will be paying your for your services with cool rewards and prize drawings. So if you feel up to the task and want to be on the ground floor of this elite program then read on and execute this first mission. If you are not interested, you will still be part of our BETA TESTING program, but will miss out on cool offerings and prizes.

OUR FIRST MISSION:

The mission is as follows: The SEGASCOUTLEADER needs your help to spread the word about how cool it is to play online at SEGANET. This vital message must be spread to the online gaming community! The mission’s purpose is to help SEGANET promote their network and the games you love to play there. In return for your time and effort SEGANET will pay you a $5.00 credit to the SEGA STORE. You will need to infiltrate as many of the free online gaming community post sections and public news forums to enter your post letting everyone know about SEGANET and why you enjoy playing there. There is a sample message provided below to give you an idea of what we are looking for.

You will need to go to the many mainstream online gaming bulletin boards (AOL Gaming area, Yahoo Gaming, Sfgate.com, Excite, The Globe.com etc.). We would also like you to concentrate your efforts on gaming specific sites such as: CNET, Gamecenter, IGN online, Gamespy, Gamespot or any other high traffic gaming related post sections you can find. Also, check out the community and clan web sites on sites like Clanhappy.com, ICQ, Xoom, Geocities, etc. Here are some URLs you can find post forums about Gaming, Dreamcast, other consoles, to place your messages:

http://dc.ign.com – http://ps2.ign.com

http://www.dailyradar.com http:/ /www.next-generation.com

http://www.videogames.com http:// www.zdnet.com/egm

http://www.psmonline.com http://www.gamesmania.com

http://www.gameinformer.com http://www.gamepro.com

http:// www.avault.com

Again, the objective of this mission is to allow you to go out and post about playing on Seganet, how cool it is to play here, about the games you like to play, & whatever it is that motivates you to play on Seganet.

You will need to post at a minimum of (10) separate posts to get credit.

Here is an example post, but please feel free to make your own in your own words from your own positive experiences on SEGANET:

Hey have you checked out SEGANET? I have been playing there and the connections are incredible! They really did a great job in creating a national lag-free ISP dedicated to gaming. If you bought a Dreamcast then you can try Seganet out for free. They have a 50 free hour deal going on that is really worth checking out. Don’t take my word for it go check it out for yourself –

http://www.sega.net/seganet/about/ about.html. 

So come and catch me playing some NFL2K1 with my friends and join us for some great multiplayer action. Better yet, come check out Quake III Arena Online for Dreamcast. You can compete and test their valor against other Dreamcast Quakers from across the country or in the same room. Quake III Arena features exclusive multiplayer modes, where up to four players can battle on the same Dreamcast via split screen, or from four different corners of the country over the Internet. 

signed – YOUR ONLINE HANDLE 

Once you have completed the mission, you will need to report your mission status to the SEGASCOUTLEADER. Here is how to do it. You send ONE e-mail to SEGASCOUTS@SEGA.COM, with the subject: SEGASCOUT MISSION STATUS. YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR SEGANET name within the email and the list of 10 WEB address URLs that will link directly to your posts. You can do this by copying and pasting the URL when you view the your message after you submitted the post. The posts must be on different message boards and can not reside on one site only. Upon receipt of your email report, the SEGASCOUTLEADER will check each and every link to your posts to confirm that you in fact have completed the mission. Submissions will be checked and credit will be awarded at the discretion of SEGANET.

Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to reply directly to this e-mail. SEGASCOUTLEADER, over and out.

SOA PR rep Heather Hawkins has stated that she has no idea about the E-Mail, but a SegaNet rep has stated that this is part of a basic marketing campaign, and similar tactics were used to promote Heat.Net a couple of years back.

Do you think this is fair? Should Sega and Sega.Com be resorting to these kinds of tactics? Say what you think on our Message Boards.