Although it’s often easy to forget, what with all those games to be played and women in skimpy costumes to pretend not to be staring at, Tokyo Game Show, like every other trade show of its kind, is really all about one thing for the companies attending- advertising and self-promotion.
So when the games have been played, the doors have been closed and the booth girls are just lifeless still images on an otaku’s hard-disk, what remains? Why, of course, the freebies! The swag that seems like an amazing idea until you ride the train home with it and realise that, outside of the event setting with every other guy carrying the same junk, you look faintly ridiculous.
And TGS had it by the bucket-load.
But Sega, the house that built Sonic the Hedgehog and dozens of other gaming greats, pulled out all the stops this year, and, proving that size really does matter, absolutely dominated the show.
Take a look at Sega’s enormous swag bag from this year’s TGS.
That’s my iPhone beside it, just to give you a sense of scale. I mean, measuring 56cm x 60cm (22.4 inches x 23.6 inches for those who have yet to go metric, or four-and-six fibbywibbles, as we say in my homeland), this bag is huge. And, with the girls at the Sega booth greeting every single passerby with a huge smile and a bag of their very own, pretty much everyone had one.
Over there a couple with a matching pair…
These two gents were very pleased with theirs…
And this lady couldn’t look happier!
Wherever we looked, Sega’s monster bag, with its new “Sega Apps” logo emblazoned on the side, was in plain sight.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is some pretty good advertising.
Of course, Sega wasn’t the only company handing out bags, and Japanese smart-phone app giant Gree put in a pretty good effort of its own with a large-sized canvas carrier, but Sega’s was certainly the biggest. And when guests receive bag after bag of swag and goodies, what do they do with it? Stuff it all into the biggest bag they have.
Sega wins big.
Of course, this only begs the question of how big next year’s TGS swag bags will be.
I can only imagine the trauma involved in taking the train back to Tokyo station with something so enormous that I could put it over my entire house the next time it needs to be fumigated.
Hopefully the sight of sad, abandoned swag bags, like this poor little fella, won’t become a more common sight… (sniff)