EA allegedly asked Breaking Benjamin singer and guitarist Benjamin Burnley to promote Star Wars: Battlefront on social media. They're probably regretting that decision now.
Burnley tried out Battlefront and hated it. He then posted a picture of a destroyed copy of the game (presumably his) on Instagram along with some choice words:
Why would EA ask a musician to promote a Star Wars video game? Well, this is an example of "influencer marketing." The basic idea behind influencer marketing is that you court people that can influence a large amount of consumers and use them to drum up sales for your product. These "influencers" can include YouTubers, musicians or even movie stars.
While Burnley apparently turned down EA, others were happy to promote Battlefront. Anna Kendrick, who also appeared in a recent commercial for the game, has been tweeting about it:
NBA star Dwight Howard and professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler also broadcasted the commercial to their followers:
Do people actually rely on their favorite NBA player for video game recommendations? I'm skeptical but EA thinks it's a worthy investment. Presumably it's a lot cheaper to get Dwight Howard to share a trailer with his 6 million plus followers on Twitter than to buy 30-second commercial slots for a television show. If these endorsements truly end up driving sales, I'm sure you'll see a whole lot more of them in the future.
Still, Burnley's rant shows the flipside to influencer marketing. People with a huge social media following can recommend your game to tons of people but they can just as easily tell your audience that it's a "piece of shit."