PS3 News: A Little Test Shows That "Booth Babes" Aren't Exactly Effective - PS3 News

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A Little Test Shows That "Booth Babes" Aren't Exactly Effective

Everyone in the video game industry has heard of "booth babes." For many who attended E3 and other major events, these scantily clad hotties were always a big attraction.

But according to recent research, that attraction may not have helped the publishers the chicks represented. Frontback boss Spencer Chen conducted a test to prove that in fact, booth babes never really worked, and he revealed his findings to TechCrunch.

Chen has always believed that using half-naked women to promote technology products is an "indefensible practice," so he figured he'd test his theory. He had the opportunity to promote the same product at two different booths at the same event; in one booth, he placed "contractors that knew the local area and had established people skills." In the other, he put the hotties. The result?

"The booth that was staffed with the booth babes generated a third of the foot traffic (as measured by conversations or demos with our reps) and less than half the leads (as measured by a badge swipe or a completed contact form) while the other team had a consistently packed booth that ultimately generated over 550 leads."

Chen believes that the booth babes actually repelled potential visitors, because the hot ladies intimidated too many people. Hence, they couldn't really promote the product, nor were they approached by legitimate business executives. In recent years, the concept of "booth babes" has been a hotly discussed topic; unsurprisingly, female gamers and journalists aren't big fans of the tactic and back in 2006, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) banned barely-clad women from booths.

Chen's probably right. Although I have to say, it says something about the self-esteem of guys when they won't even walk into a booth because a hot girl is in it. I mean, who gives as sh**? They're being paid to talk to you and be nice to you; they're gonna do exactly that. They're not proposing to sleep with you. What's to be intimidated about?

Tags: booth babes, e3 babes, gaming industry

1/19/2014 8:10:07 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (18 posts)

ethird1
Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 10:11:55 PM
Reply

This test was done by asking gay men the question. Ask any straight guy or gay gal and you will hear a "HELL YEAH BOOTH BABES RULE!" vote.

End of line.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 12:59:08 AM

You know it was a measurement of overall traffic, right? I wasn't a paper-form survey or anything.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 2:23:06 AM

Uhhh, no. It was performed at a trade show attended by professionals who were at the show to get sh*t done. The results may not necessarily reflect those that one would find at a consumer show, but still...

That being said, were I attending a show even as a consumer my interest would not be on the booth babes, but on the products and what I could learn about them from the professionals on hand.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 10:39:15 PM
Reply

Never really thought it was there to attract demos, I thought they were just eye candy to draw people to the event and give the gamers a few memories. Just a little something to flip your wig back.

It's hardly scientific, but I could have told him that hot women just standing around wouldn't pull in the people that professional shmoozers will.

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Brighat
Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 10:47:44 PM
Reply

Booth babes are needed at these events. I compare it to the film Mrs. Henderson Presents in why booth babes play an important part at E3 and the like.

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Bonampak
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 12:32:33 AM
Reply

"What's to be intimidated about?"

^^^ Its probably not fear. Business people who want to do business, are unlikely to be interested in mixing it up with "booth babes".

It's like trying to buy a car at a dealership and instead of discussing that issue with a salesman, you talk to the guy on the corner twirling a sign promoting the dealership.

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/20/2014 12:32:54 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 10:23:19 AM

I'm not talking about business people. I'm talking about journalists at trade events, such as E3.

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Bonampak
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 5:58:19 PM

Chen (the guy who wrote the piece) mentioned businessmen avoiding the babes. I thought you were talking about the same people.

But yeah, "Journalists", like the ones who today dragged their feet to publish anything about the Microsoft-Machinima scandal (involves astroturfing/payola), are probably going to be all over those girls & not care about the games.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 1:04:44 AM
Reply

That makes a lot of sense to me. I'm at every Biz after Five chamber event in my city for work. Like E3, it's a lot of professionals around. When I'm at a Chamber event, I'm on the clock and I have so many contacts to make and I need to develop relationships with the people in charge of their businesses. The odd booth that brings eye candy are fun to see, I guess, but they don't get my time. Especially if the eye candy is all they've sent to the event. Now if the eye candy is also the business owner... that's a different story. But also unlikely. (Smart business owners don't sell their own sexiness unless sexiness is the product. They use models.)

No networking opportunity at a networking event? you aren't going to get the foot traffic. It's not like E3 is meant to be an electronics SALES expo, you know?

I think a majority of the traffic they need at these events is not people to stop by and say hello. It's going to be people wanting to develop professional relationships and learn about the content they are showing (since time is limited at these things). I love me some eye candy too, but if I'm at E3, I don't have time to talk to people paid to talk to me and be interested in everyone that swings by. I need to spend my time learning what I came to learn. Especially if I'm representing another organization I'm responsible to.

So yeah. To me, this finding makes perfect sense.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/20/2014 1:06:28 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 3:00:25 AM
Reply

I shall admit I get intimidated.

It's not like I am *afraid* of them, but the whole setting intimidates me. To stand there with a pinup-dressed hottie so obviously picked due to looks and discuss, say, specifications of a car or a stereo rack, well the whole setting is just too absurd to me. Plus they hardly ever are able to answer *anything* that's not listed in the brochures.

So yeah - I feel just stupid. And intimidated because of that.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/20/2014 3:01:18 AM

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Godslim
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 4:10:01 AM

have to aggree mate

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 11:02:27 AM

haha, good point man.

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JackC8
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 7:22:47 AM
Reply

A guy who hates booth babes sets up an experiment to test his theory. Good grief. So in the other booth they had people who were well known to all the people who were likely to be there? Yeah I wonder why everybody went to that one.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 7:44:42 AM

At an event like this, I'd be going to the one where I was likely to walk away with something of note. It's not really much of a stretch for this type of thing. Maybe if it was a consumer event. But it isn't.

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PC_Max
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 8:16:46 AM
Reply

I could be wrong as to the history of booth babes or eye candy, but does not the use of attractive women go back to the 50's? Car shows and other consumer products? Granted at car shows the girl may have actually talked reading from a script about the car. Not sure if its where it all began though. Wondered if it worked then? Not that its been said, but the thought they had over the years as the womens clothes got less and less was "sex sells". Its advertising.

In this case it just shows no one cares anymore. People are not going to these things and paying money to get in, if you do, just to see the booth babes. Wait, okay some places they do such as the Sex Show, but in this context why would you waste your time with them. In as much as they might be able to talk about the product, their appearance probably say not.

Intimidating? was that actually said to be the reason? Or just a supposition? Might be dependent on what country.

Keep playing!

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Underdog15
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 9:15:58 AM

I know it wasn't the main point of what you said, but you did touch on a really great thing though. You mentioned car shows and other consumer products. And I think maybe the sex sells thing might work at those things.

But this event isn't a consumer event. It's a media event and a networking event. The majority of people going aren't there to purchase anything. They're there to learn, find something to report on, and network with other like-minded professionals.

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Oxvial
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 2:57:17 PM
Reply

Hu? they are paid to be nice and talk to us?, I never attend any convention but that would be hilarious xD, I thought they were just standing there doing their best to look hot. I don't mind them and of course I would enjoy their presence but they wouldn't be a draw for any kind of event imo.

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Kryten1029a
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 11:26:28 PM
Reply

If they were fully briefed on the games or products that they were promoting then they might have an impact. Eye candy that's just there to be gawked at and can't answer questions aren't going to help.

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