We now live in a world where you are either a geek or are trying to be one. In the age of information technology, geeks are kings. So to celebrate, May 25 has been dubbed Geek Pride Day. It’s a day where self-professed and actual geeks come together to play with lightsabers, mourn over the cancellation of Firefly, talk about comic books, or do pretty much whatever tickles their fancy – so long as it’s geeky.
Of course, it didn’t take long before businessmen caught on and capitalized on what seemed like a great way to make a few bucks. Understandably, this fact doesn’t sit well with some geeks. Don’t get me wrong, if there’s a sector out there that’s willing to spend on overpriced crap we don’t actually need nor appreciate, it’s them; in fact, they’ll be more than happy to take them off your hands.
The problem is when marketers take advantage of the holiday while being clueless about geek culture. Geeks are smarter than your average consumer so launching a campaign might actually backfire if you’re going in blind. If you’re doing a promotion or a contest to promote your products/services this coming Geek Pride Day, you should check out these basic tips:
Know What You’re Talking About
There’s this store near my place that hopped on The Avengers hype back when the 2012 movie was weeks away from its release. They were doing giveaways for the movie – stickers of the main characters, I think; one of those buy X amount of merchandise and get a sticker sort of deals.
I didn’t really care for it until I saw the store’s promotional poster. It had Nick Fury incorrectly named as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury is a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. but that’s obviously not his name). I saw some fairly geeky friends later in the day that saw the poster as well. They found the poster so ridiculous that they didn’t bother to avail the promo.
It may have been a typo, maybe not. Whatever the case, the poster did not accomplish what it was supposed to. Geeks are really sensitive when it comes to these sorts of things. So when dealing with geeks, double check your facts and make sure you really do know what you’re talking about.
Get Your References Right
It might be an extension of the point raised above but deserves its own section nonetheless. It’s bad that people still confuse Star Wars with Star Trek (seriously, how hard can it be?). However, there are a lot more stuff out there that are even more confusing to average Joe. Being extra careful would really go a long way.
Star Trek has Spock (left) while Star Wars has Han and Chewbacca (right). How hard can it be?
Choose Your Target
The geeks you see when watching Big Bang Theory are nothing like those in the real world. I have yet to see a geek who geeks out over everything like Raj, Sheldon, Leonard, or Howard – the main characters of the show – do. So when promoting, think of which kind of geeks are you appealing to. Music geeks? Book geeks? Movie geeks? Knowing who your audience should be would really help promote your products better.
Unlike in the show, nobody can be a geek all-around in real life.
Do Not Stereotype
They may be more knowledgeable when it comes to some things but that does not mean they’re any more different. So it’s best not to make promotional materials that may offend them. Do not make any references to how they dress, their lifestyle, or other quirks you may think they have. Do not risk offending the very people you’re targeting.