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?