I recently watched Videogamedunkey’s “Best of 2022” video embedded below (warning, he knows his way around an f-bomb) and appreciated a masterful little promo/announcement he did at the beginning of the video for his game publishing company and their first game “Animal Well.”
Since I’ve also been working on announcements and promotions for our Marital Bliss game re-release, I decided to break down his announcement and see if I could learn a bit about what went into it and why it worked.
The Introduction (0:00 – 0:10)
Video Script: “This year twitter had me like ☹️ And when Overwatch 2 came out that game had had me like ☹️ But when we announced Big Mode I was like ☺️”
- It’s a pretty common technique to do lists of three, I like how he juxtaposes sadness/bad stuff with the introduction of the topic (his publishing company) as the third positive thing at the end. And, of course, there’s some humor there.
- He links two things that are commonly known within the community with HIS third thing that is certainly less popular. The implication now is that it should be of the same importance. Pretty clever.
- Additionally, he’s aligning himself with the community on the first two items (I felt these things, and you probably did too…) in the hope that the viewer will then also associate the third thing with how they should feel.
- This also speaks directly to emotions, which is the defining tactic in modern marketing.
Community Recognition (0:10 – 0:30)
Video Script: “When we announced this you guys showed us so much love. You left so many incredible, uplifting comments. All these artists started drawing up amazing artwork of Biggie. And so many super talented people started reaching out to us. Never in a million years did I expect such a warm response, man. That really meant a lot to me.”
- Notice how heavily the content is focused externally – “you” and “we” and “us.”
- Continues to pivot hard away from the negativity of the first intro and leans into the community, and the “love” that was shown. Gives multiple examples from the community, things that have been generated, work that was done. Really building a sense that he’s not just a dude making YouTube videos… it’s bigger than that.
- No humor in this section. Humor and sincerity don’t mix well.
Product Announcement (0:30 – 1:30)
Video Script: “And now, I think we’re finally ready to make our first announcement. Promo of new game (lots of silence, sound… cool little trailer). Hell yeah! We’re publishing Animal Well baby. The first ever open-well-type game. “
- Humor is back. What the hell is an “open-well-type-game.”
- Notice how he introduced Animal Well like a known quantity. Like it was a game I should have heard of before. I like this approach. Skip the introduction and it kind of implies that I’m just not cool enough to have heard of it yet (which may be true). Makes it feel more hype-y and exciting.
Video Script: “This was one of the very few games at E3 this year that caught my eye and after playing it and getting to know the developer Billy Basso(sp?) we feel so lucky to be publishing Animal Well. “
- Differentiates the game… it’s exceptional. Defers to the developer as the genius behind it, downplays his role and implies that he’s just publishing and lucky to do so. Humility is endearing.
- Again, no humor here.
Video Script: “It’s intuitive. It’s detailed. It’s atmospheric. It’s a game coming from a very pure place of love for video games. This game is going to surprise you. It’s gonna spook you. It’s going to reward you for toying with it’s mechanics, and delight you with some of the coolest animal interactions I’ve ever seen in a game. Look at this chinchilla… Ohh.. I love this guy (humor).“
- In my opinion, this was probably the weakest part of the announcement. I think he had an opportunity here to really set a hook that would compel me to want to learn more. I would’ve preferred him to tease a really unique mechanic, maybe circle back to that “open-well-type-game” joke at the beginning and expand on it if there’s actually anything there? Instead he goes with a litany of fairly generic descriptors (and the chinchilla)… which ultimately didn’t make the game feel memorable. In marketing-speak you might say that the “positioning” didn’t hit the mark here.
Call to Action (1:30 – 1:45)
Video Script: Please people, go wish-list Animal Well on Steam if you want to see how deep the animal well really goes. Go go wish list it. Did you do it? You’d better f*cking do it gu… *quick cut*
- You ALWAYS need a call to action. This one’s pretty standard. The game’s not available yet, so he’s wanting to build that audience on Steam using the Wishlist feature.
- Not too many people can pull off dropping an f-bomb and a threat in their call to action. But, because he takes it over the top, and because he paid his dues up front with the community recognition piece earlier on (and this is pretty much par-for-the-course for his content) it reads as humor here and doesn’t come across as insulting or arrogant.
One of the things I appreciate about Dunkey (part of his “brand”) is that his content always feels informal, and low budget. It feels spontaneous and unexpected, like something a friend of yours might toss together and upload. BUT if you go back and just look at those time stamps above, you can get a glimpse of exactly how much detail and planning goes into his videos under the surface.
It’s no coincidence that each segment is neatly allotted a specific amount of time. A 10 second intro, followed by 20 seconds of community recognition followed by exactly 1 minute dedicated towards the game, wrapped up with a 15 second call to action.
All in all, I think it’s an excellent example of threading the needle: making the announcement authentic and exciting, without being heavy-handed or cliché while also conforming to his established brand. There’s a reason he has 7 million followers.
And, it looks like it’s working. Animal Well currently has more than 6,000 people who’ve added it to their Wishlist on Steam. You can learn more about BigMode the publishing company on their website here.
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