Veteran Marketer Proves Booth Babes Don't Work

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

2 unofficial tests by a guy does not prove anything. Now if someone did an actual study, I'd be interested.

No shit. I'd rather have an informed person to give me actual information about the product than a live Barbie doll that serves only as eye candy and may actually distract from the product.

Lightknight:

Paradoxrifts:
The real trick would be to hire booth babes that could do the same work as the professional saleswomen that he hired to 'compete' with them.

It would be interesting. The issue may not be booth babes, but may be the degree to which they're objectified. What about an attractive girl who is only slightly provacatively dressed (subtle and not too unrealistic) that is well trained on the product? Would that perform better or would that cease to be a booth babe?

Honestly, I would be less comfortable being sold something from an attractive female than by an average male/female, because I'd be wondering how much her behavior is genuine and how much she's just trying to sell me something.

And that's all booth babes feel like to me: Trying to sell me something by abusing my baser instincts than by the superiority of their product.

Eh Idk that I would consider it proof. "Booth" babes or umbrella girls or W/E can have their place in event marketing. At some road racing events 2 of the teams despite being middlepack runners have quite the merchandising presence of which the Umbrella girl/booth babe operators play quite a role at least in brand recognition. When walking through the paddock who do you stop at Team DHL or Team Flying Lizzard with the smiling chatty boothbabes who's staff you've seen walking around chatting people up and taking pics all day? Judging from the number of people sporting their t shirts after the race I'd say w/e flying lizzard and the muscle milk team did worked pretty well.

I think part of what makes a good BB is an affiliation with the product being sold rather than just "talent" you hired.

Just out of curiosity (I don't go to conventions), but has anyone actually surveyed how much the booth babes actually know about the stuff they are advertizing? That would also be an interesting study.

I can't say the same for all fields.. But as far as video game and tech related stuff goes, no shit. Nerds are often nervous about approaching beautiful women? No way!

It probably depends on the booth's purpose. For example, booth babes probably won't help you sell insurance, but they will help you get attention for your new video game (especially if in cosplay).

makes sense to me. i too would avoid a booth around which they were lurking, now that i think on it. though, still, can't fault anyone for taking advantage of their assets in pursuit of [resources necessary for survival]. i hope those that lose their jobs to this research find alternate means to meet ends without too much trouble. simply wishing for them to lose their jobs would be going to far, i think.

This makes sense, after all if you go to a convention, chances are you're not there for the women. You want to talk to people who know as much about the subject matter as you do. The booth babes are just an awkward (yet slightly pleasant) distraction.

Lightknight:

Paradoxrifts:
The real trick would be to hire booth babes that could do the same work as the professional saleswomen that he hired to 'compete' with them.

It would be interesting. The issue may not be booth babes, but may be the degree to which they're objectified. What about an attractive girl who is only slightly provacatively dressed (subtle and not too unrealistic) that is well trained on the product? Would that perform better or would that cease to be a booth babe?

The expo's I've been to where there are (attractive?) girls dressed more or less the same as the guy are much more approachable then the ones wearing spandex leotards with plastic smiles, also it's liable you'll get more information about what you're looking at that way it seems, as the setting seems more 'natural'. Although there was a booth babe at a... street fighter booth (iirc, could have been another fighting game) who knew her stuff, and was fighting against show goers fairly well too, had quite a crowd actually when she was there - so they're not all terrible I guess..

It's nice to see that picture that was coupled with the article again. We need that picture shown back to us regularly as a constant reminder.

As much as I am one of those people that are saying "of course Booth Babes don't work", I wonder if a "Booth Babe Convention" would be more effective with or without actual Booth Babes at the actual booths of said convention?

...Just a thought, that's all... Anyway, glad to see a "myth" fully busted by someone who's not a Mythbuster, I guess...

So you can have attractive models or informed sales reps...
image

As for the study, I don't know one way or the other. There are quite a few variables that we have yet to hear about. What if the booth with the older, but more knowledgably, sales reps was near the entrance of the convention center and the "booth babe" booth was near the back? That would skew the data fairly heavily.

As to the "why not both" argument, there's absolutely nothing saying that professional salespeople can't also be attractive women. The whole point of "booth babes" is that that's NOT what they are though. If that's what they were, nobody would have a problem with them.

Honestly I don't have a problem with booth babes in person or as a sales technique. The babes themselves are just women doing a job to make a living (I've been harsh on Jim Sterling recently so I'll credit that one to his video on the subject); and as for the technique, it strikes me negatively rather than otherwise but I can always just avoid them. I'm not at all surprised by the conclusion this man drew in the slightest - I'm a straight guy but being approached by scantily clad women with a commercial "agenda" would absolutely put me right off.

FPLOON:
As much as I am one of those people that are saying "of course Booth Babes don't work", I wonder if a "Booth Babe Convention" would be more effective with or without actual Booth Babes at the actual booths of said convention?

Well personally I'd like to think that it would be staffed entirely by overly-well-dressed men of between thirty and fifty years old, all trying to hide the mark on their finger where their wedding ring used to be...

As someone that had to work on a trade show because of my knowledge and was close enough of other stands with booth babes, I have to doubt the results of this experiment. If your intention is drawing attention and traffic on your booth, babes work a lot better.

Bad news for the Booth Babes.

We shall miss them, or not apparently.

So wait. The dude used grandmothers as booth babes for the first one? Did he end up using younger girls eventually? Did he keep using older booth babes? I assume then he used the "normal aged" girls for the rest of the tests? I guess it's not really important, as the main point of the article is that the tests seem to indicate that informed people in a non-threatening environment generate more sales leads than booth babes. Weirdly worded article.

To be fair, it's not the booth babes' fault: someone somewhere decided that booth babes were an effective generator of leads (probably at a car trade show), and the rest just went with it. This is probably the first study that tries to put that assumption to the test.

hermes200:
As someone that had to work on a trade show because of my knowledge and was close enough of other stands with booth babes, I have to doubt the results of this experiment. If your intention is drawing attention and traffic on your booth, babes work a lot better.

It might be that the stands with the booth babes were popular because the companies running them had popular products, and could afford to hire booth babes more easily because they had more money. It's not necessarily the case that the booth babes were generating the interest.

I think they get hired because the managers that run the stands want hot babes on their stalls to chat up when it's quiet. "Sex sells" is just an excuse.

Bad Jim:

hermes200:
As someone that had to work on a trade show because of my knowledge and was close enough of other stands with booth babes, I have to doubt the results of this experiment. If your intention is drawing attention and traffic on your booth, babes work a lot better.

It might be that the stands with the booth babes were popular because the companies running them had popular products, and could afford to hire booth babes more easily because they had more money. It's not necessarily the case that the booth babes were generating the interest.

I think they get hired because the managers that run the stands want hot babes on their stalls to chat up when it's quiet. "Sex sells" is just an excuse.

I also think it may have been the novelty of it at the time. Having an attractive woman dressed up in an alluring manner would generate more attention.

Much like we laugh at the blatant bs in advertising from years ago I think our generation has been conditioned to be more skeptical of the presence of booth babes. That and their prevalence means the novelty has been lost.

Bad Jim:

hermes200:
As someone that had to work on a trade show because of my knowledge and was close enough of other stands with booth babes, I have to doubt the results of this experiment. If your intention is drawing attention and traffic on your booth, babes work a lot better.

It might be that the stands with the booth babes were popular because the companies running them had popular products, and could afford to hire booth babes more easily because they had more money. It's not necessarily the case that the booth babes were generating the interest.

I think they get hired because the managers that run the stands want hot babes on their stalls to chat up when it's quiet. "Sex sells" is just an excuse.

I also think it may have been the novelty of it at the time. Having an attractive woman dressed up in an alluring manner would generate more attention.

Much like we laugh at the blatant bs in advertising from years ago I think our generation has been conditioned to be more skeptical of the presence of booth babes. That and their prevalence means the novelty has been lost.

I would much rather be shown a product by someone who knows everything about it and is actually passionate about the product than some girl with a nice body waving her hands in front of things like the price is right. Booth babes are pointless imo. I could actually see people being driven away from stations with booth babes because it makes them uncomfortable or they don't want to be judged as losers or perverts. If I want eye candy I will look for it. I don't need it forced into my consumer products.

MatsVS:
I think, seeing as "booth babes" are there solely to be sexual objects for men, they should be allowed to judge the men approaching them by exactly the same metric. As in, if a creepy dude who looks pretty much like a bag of testie-sacks someone kicked over, like the dude depicted in the story, they girls should be allowed to make that observation and deride him for not being up to their standards. It'd only be fair, really.

Except those woman are being paid to do a job. They are being paid to stand around, look pretty and attract attention. They don't get to pick and choose what the people they attract look like. Nobody is forcing these women to be there, they chose to be there. You can't get a job at a strip club and then demean the very people who came to the club out of some sense of bitter vindictiveness. It seems like you are personally offended by the mere existence of booth babes and the people that like them.

secretkeeper12:

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
I don't have a broad experience with trade shows, but the one big one that I was at (for a boring, technical industry) I don't recall even a single booth babe. To be sure, if any company had any employee under 40 who worked in the office and was vaguely attractive then she was assigned to staff the booth (my company included), but I don't think there was a single woman there in non-professional attire or who didn't act as a representative of the company with information on hand.

In fact, when I Google image search that trade show's name together with "booth babe" all I get are pictures of fat beardy men in sweater vests and pictures of product. The trade show was pretty boring for me, but then again I was only there for tech support- I'm not actually interested in the product. I imagine for people who wanted to be there, there was enough to occupy their attention without needing boobs in a sling. I prefer my professional environments be professional, radical feminist that I am.

What was the name of that convention? You've made me very curious!

I've only been to Sci-fi conventions, but even though they sell a whole lot of stuff (books, movies, toys, weapons, whatever) I haven't seen a single boothbabe. I count myself very lucky, because I would most likely lose my shit if they started cropping up.

Can they not be informed and attractive? That sounds good to me. My only problem with this whole idea was the individual having no idea what they were representing. Like booth babes for games that they clearly know nothing about. That is just stupid and any interaction you have with them will make it clear to you they don't know and will put you off. However after looking at a forum full of bitching (this came up before but I don't have a link) it seems the big problem for alot of people was just that they were hot women ''sexualising'' things. Unpopular as this surely will be it just sounded like a bunch of jealous women and socially awkward men who are afriad of attractive women giving out about it.

I never understood booth babes.
Do they draw attention?
Yeah, 0.3 second glance.
Can you sell your product in that time?
If yes, then you don't need booth babes to sell your product.
When I try to understand message behind booth babes, it goes something like this:
"Hey moron! Yes you! Turn you penis this way! See tits and ass? Now stare at them and salivate, while we pull your wallet out of your pocket and sell you shit, you don't really need."
That's insulting.

Now, I do understand that they are people too and they need this income


But you know what?
I would also like to get paid just for shoving my ugly face and hanging around in some location.
But for some reason I do get paid only when I do something.
And I don't understand why.
No matter how hard I try to figure it out, answer eludes me.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
snip.. radical feminist that I am.

Why, oh why you needed to add this last bit here?
I was reading and agreeing on most things, and when I got to this my head simply dropped down and hit the table (luckily glasses remained safe).
What is the connection here?
It's like saying that I don't stomp kittens and don't eat shrimps because I'm a glass blower.
You want professional environment and respectful attitude, not because you are radical, feminist or radical feminist, but because you are professional and decent human being with common sense intact and 2+ brain cells.

blackrave:

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
snip.. radical feminist that I am.

Why, oh why you needed to add this last bit here?
I was reading and agreeing on most things, and when I got to this my head simply dropped down and hit the table (luckily glasses remained safe).
What is the connection here?
It's like saying that I don't stomp kittens and don't eat shrimps because I'm a glass blower.
You want professional environment and respectful attitude, not because you are radical, feminist or radical feminist, but because you are professional and decent human being with common sense intact and 2+ brain cells.

It sounds as though someone failed to notice the sarcasm in a quip and perhaps gave away more about themselves than they should hope to.

I don't really consider myself a radical feminist only because that term has no meaning, though on many web communities my expectation that professionals should act like professionals would get me called one.

shadowstriker86:
I have this thing called empathy,

Cool, what's that? Can I have some?

But seriously, I've never understood why our society still upholds such sexist traditions. It's like the Gold Coast Meter Maids. Or why girls do that to themselves... I don't get it.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

It sounds as though someone failed to notice the sarcasm in a quip and perhaps gave away more about themselves than they should hope to.

God dammit! Of all people I should be the one picking sarcasm over the internet the best, yet I failed.
How could I fall so low?

I don't really consider myself a radical feminist only because that term has no meaning, though on many web communities my expectation that professionals should act like professionals would get me called one.

I think proper term is "feminazi" :)

Now excuse me, I'm going to go to the rooftop and wait for a rain (winter, FUCK YEAH!!!) to cry on my knees and yell "WHY?", "NO!" and "BLARGH!", since I've humiliated myself yet again.

I find booth babes uncomfortable and especially when it comes to games. I tend to wonder what the makers are hiding by trying to sell their game through sex rather than through say game play.

For certain events they work...Car show comes to mind but thats more purely in terms of eye catching not actually in depth discussion about the product. But at game cons meh.

Way to make a introvert like me feel even less uncomfortable around people.

blackrave:

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

It sounds as though someone failed to notice the sarcasm in a quip and perhaps gave away more about themselves than they should hope to.

God dammit! Of all people I should be the one picking sarcasm over the internet the best, yet I failed.
How could I fall so low?

I don't really consider myself a radical feminist only because that term has no meaning, though on many web communities my expectation that professionals should act like professionals would get me called one.

I think proper term is "feminazi" :)

Now excuse me, I'm going to go to the rooftop and wait for a rain (winter, FUCK YEAH!!!) to cry on my knees and yell "WHY?", "NO!" and "BLARGH!", since I've humiliated myself yet again.

No worries. Take a sweater though, it's chilly out.

Epic_Bubble:
I find booth babes uncomfortable and especially when it comes to games.

I can't recall ever being at an event with booth babes, but I imagine that would be my feeling as well. I tend to get very insulted and a bit indignantly up my own back-end when I get the sense that someone is attempting to manipulate me sexually for profit.

At the same time, out here in Japan one frequently finds campaign girls dressed in product themed outfits handing out flyers or tissue packets with ads for things like cell phones. Costumes have gotten much better, but they used to be fairly exploitative when I first came here. Every time I saw a woman doing that work, there was a little mini battle in my head of "How can I relieve their discomfort by engaging with them as a human being without making them think I'm hitting on them because they're showing skin when I have fairly low language abilities?"

Especially for gaming, considering the growing number of women gamers in the industry, I think its a good thing to move away from the booth babe model of things; or, at the very least, make it a gender-neutral field. Anyone for some hunky guys at your local EA booth? Eh? ;)

...no?

ok...

I am going to be honest. Whenever I see booth babes I skip the booth because I think like this: I find that if the product needs that to get attention then it apparently cant stand on it's own. (I assume that and I am a lost customer at that points, the marketing to me has failed)
Also... I don't feel right to go to a booth because I get this feeling that others think I am there because of the babes.

In professional conventions and events which I attend, either I want to, have to or forced by job. I'd rather speak to someone who knows what they are talking about and understands what I am talking about. Than get a pretty face to stare.

Fappy:
While I tend to agree with his conclusion, correlation does not equal causation. Sure, he tested it numerous times over the course of 1 year, but it is going to have to be put to far more tests and studies if it is to be proven.

Then again, this is me just nitpicking. I think commonsense would dictate this to be the case, but then again, I have overestimated the human race before.

Your logic is well founded. His correlations do not indicate *any* sense of the products being marketed. If I were to staff grandmothers in French string's at the Fallout 4 booth, I would still have 10X the business than Victoria Secrete Swimsuit models trying to sell Fable 4. The products sometimes sell themselves. Other times, it could be the swag they are handing out. So claiming causality proves he is simply selling his opinion.

P.S. I find the booth babes great fun to talk to. They are willing to tell you just about anything as long as you can distract them from the mind-numbing boredom of their jobs, or the boorish behaviour of their bosses. Some are actually intelligent people just earning a little extra cash (you can usually spot them - they do not sport hooker tats).

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here