Posts Tagged 'Hitman Absolution'

Don’t Shoot The Messenger – or why anger at Hitman: Absolution’s advertising campaigns is misplaced

Over the past day there has been a brief controversy over an advertising campaign put into play (and promptly removed from play) by Square Enix and creative agency Ralph. Much has been made of the campaign – which offered fans the opportunity to craft a virtual hit on their friends via Facebook – for encouraging cyber bullying, and in particular for its disturbing choice of said target’s identifiable features, including “shit hair”, “small tits” and “tiny penis”.*

Similarly, a long while before the game was released, IO Interactive were roundly criticised for a CG trailer released for Hitman: Absolution which showed a variety of women, all dressed up in latex nuns’ outfits, attacking Agent 47 only to be brutally executed by him, with dramatic slowdown and close-up shots of his most vicious attacks.

I’m here to say that the criticism of these two separate campaigns is misplaced. Not because the adverts were inoffensive: they patently were not. No, I say that the criticism was misplaced because these adverts were perfectly representative of the game they sought to advertise. The ever-brilliant Leigh Alexander wrote a piece in response to the more recent campaign about how she wished that marketers would start caring about the video games that they chose to represent. It was an excellent article, and relevant to a very many adverts for games – but not, I feel, this one.
No, the problem with the advertising campaigns for Hitman: Absolution stems from one source, and one source only: the nature of Hitman: Absolution itself.

Continue reading ‘Don’t Shoot The Messenger – or why anger at Hitman: Absolution’s advertising campaigns is misplaced’


August 2017
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