Brand Loyalty

The KingI'm pretty susceptible to advertising. Or at least I've noticed this when it comes to fast food. I can count on one hand (OK, maybe two) the amount of times that I've seen a commercial for some sort of crispy chicken thing on TV and gone out to try it within hours. Invariably hating myself afterwards for expecting the taste to be anything more than the oil in the fryer.

Let's just get it out of the way now. While the King character/brand is appealing and funny in a creepy kind of way, BK Chicken Fries are just plain nasty.

I've been meaning to create a new category for this blog about Privacy concerns, or something like that. A place to examine some of the stray threads my paranoid mind has plucked out of the air. There would likely be some overlap with another category, Social justice/change, or something. But, like everything else with this blog, it'll have to wait.

Let me just jump to the DS stuff now. I've had my Nintendo DS for less than a year, and I'm a freak for it. This also happens to coincide with a reawakened appetite for video games in general.

In any case, I make a practice of not registering my products. Marketers likely know everything there is to know about me anyway, but I'm trying to be more aware of the information I voluntarily give up.

But dangle a shiny bauble, or pink stylus, in front of me and I'm yours. Suckers who registered their copy of Kirby Canvas Curse (a game I still need to review) were sent a bright pink stylus. Registering three items, I quickly learned, got you three free copies of Nintendo Power. A slippery slope slathered with the grease of a hundred chicken fries.

When you willingly fill out surveys to enter a feedback loop with companies whose products you spend a large portion of your time with, you're pretty much heavily invested, don't you think? There's only one corporation I've sold (most of) my soul to: Apple Computer. But Nintendo has created some potent brand loyalty in me with the DS and the impending release of the Wii.

I actually look forward to filling out their game surveys on my registered products; believing somewhere in my heart that it has a direct effect on the games I play and enjoy. Someone disabuse me of this notion if you know something to the contrary or feel a need to hit me with a cynicism stick.

The latest survey arrived last Friday. This one was for Brain Age (another game whose review is long overdue. Perhaps I should just compile a list of what I'm currently playing. And if there's no review for it, just assume I'm too busy loving and playing it to write one.)

Here are a few screenshots of some of the questions. Sorry for the crappy layout, will try to figure out a better way to do this in the future. (Apparently no love for DSfanboy.com in the last screenshot–what up with that?)

Brain Age survey screen shot

Brain Age survey screen shot 3

Brain Age survey screen shot 4

Brain Age survey screen shot 5

Brain Age survey screen shot 6

I left some pretty extended feedback when certain questions prompted it. This makes me think of a friend whose boyfriend works at Snowblind Studios. I hear about some of the outrageous requests and scarily obsessive mail that regularly comes in.

I wonder if all my earnest feedback and good faith is just another means of giving up certain kinds of information about myself that I can't see from where I am right now. If it will ultimately be used in ways I don't approve of. Even with all of my brain training, I don't have an answer.

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