UK discount supermarket chain Aldi has launched a new ad campaign called 'Teatime Takedown', reminiscent of the failed 'Bully Hunters' initiative, that aims to get kids off games and down to the dinner table on time.
In the latest bizarre (anti) gaming-related advertising, the supermarket is looking for parents to sign-up their supposedly console-addicted children, who will take a virtual beating from "professional gamers", in an effort to make them rage quit the game.
And of course, once they have successfully been humiliated by a pro and rage quit, it is hoped they will then sprint down to the dinner table with a spring in their step.
You can see the trailer for the Teatime Takedown campaign below.
The motivation for the campaign comes from the brand's own data which claims that "38% of British children refuse to sit down at the family dinner table, with more than a quarter of UK parents blaming online gaming for this phenomenon."
The trailer raises a number of questions, not least how the 'professional' players will manage to match up in the same game as the "target". According to the terms and conditions, the target must accept an invitation for the "esports pro-gamer to join their game"
As for the 'pro-gamers', they are being drafted from 'Veloce eSports', who describe themselves as an "esports consultancy team providing full services to individuals and brands looking to be a part of the esports revolution". They currently field players in racing games.
Hi there, Teatime Takedown is an initiative to get children back at the dinner table by enlisting a team of elite gamers to play against them and end their games early, so they can join family meal times.— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) March 13, 2019
Marketing director at Aldi, David Hills, says they are "committed to helping parents on their journey to reclaiming that all important family time."
Why losing a match would prompt the child to just get off the game completely and go eat dinner is unclear, highlighted by many on social media.
"Is your kid's rugby practice getting in the way of your weekends? We'll send in the Samoan International side to crush them so badly they'll abandon their hobby for good"— Tom (@Codexcaster) March 13, 2019
Why is gaming the villain, this could be any hobby on the planet?
Aldi Teatime Takedown is the worst thought out marketing campaign related to gaming that I have come across. Clearly created by someone who hasn't played a video game and thus doesn't realise it's usually impossible to do what the campaign says it will https://t.co/2W2pxlHn1m— Luke Cotton (@LukeCotton) March 13, 2019
The campaign has drawn comparisons to Bully Hunters, which used a similar approach to target 'toxicity' in gaming, by matching supposedly elite players in matches with sexist trolls.
Bully Hunters was roundly criticized for using misleading statistics and a scripted broadcast, despite claiming it was live.
Parents who want to have their child participate in 'Teatime Takedown' will need to provide the 'target' Xbox or PSN game ID, or alternatively their Twitch username. In the case of a 'successful' Teatime Takedown, the target will be notified of the campaign and their participation in it - and then will presumably scurry down to the dinner table.