Microsoft Bypasses UK Ad Ban with Fake "Destiny" Cologne

Activision sells exclusive advertising rights of "Destiny" to Sony. Microsoft's response? A clever advertising campaign for new "Destiny" cologne.

Friday, Microsoft announced it's new brand of cologne called "Destiny," and if you noticed something strange about Microsoft suddenly making cologne or the fact that said cologne is named after one of the most anticipated Xbox One and PS4 games releasing this year, you've also just noticed how Microsoft is attempting to get around Sony's exclusive rights to advertise the upcoming title.

Sony acquired the rights to advertise Destiny in the United Kingdom from Activision, and in so doing put a proverbial nail in the coffin of Microsoft, who will now be trying to outsell the already successful PS4 without being able to advertise the biggest game of the year. How big of a hit is this to Microsoft? Well, how big is not being able to tell anyone your console is getting the most pre-ordered game in history?

Pretty big.

If you were to compare the advantage that advertising Destiny gives Sony over Microsoft to this image...well, Sony's the big planet and Microsoft's the tiny ball above the 'i'.

In order to get around Sony's exclusive rights, though, Microsoft is attempting to advertise the game as a new "cologne" via the website linked earlier in this article. It doesn't seem like Microsoft really intended to carry the joke too far, though, as clicking on the ad takes viewers to a page with the following message from Microsoft:

Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter, available on Xbox.

Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game. So we didn't.

Thanks for smelling that something was up.

Assuming this stealthy advertising campaign doesn't get Microsoft in trouble, it is at once a jab at Sony and Activision as well as a great way to advertise a product they otherwise couldn't.

Not unlike the stealthy Hunter class in "Destiny" Microsoft has slipped their advertisement for the game through Sony's defenses, but will Microsoft end up getting aggro from this seemingly illegal move?

Well played, Mr. Nadella. Well played.

For the latest news on Microsoft, Sony, and Destiny check out our other great GameSkinny articles, and don't miss out on our reviews of the game when it launches.

Published Sep. 7th 2014
View Comments
  • Tropical Ant
    So MS made a terrible console and was therefore denied advertising rights.

    If they had treated their players with respect in the first place, I doubt they would have lost those marketing rights. They brought this upon themselves. Screw MS.
  • Travis McGee
    Featured Correspondent
    I don't really think the quality of the Xbox 360 or Xbox One really has much to do with this, honestly. This is really just business. Sony acquired the advertising rights for that region through a contract with Activision that likely cost them a decent bit of money.

    We know this, because Activision would typically see higher profit margins if their game is successful on all the consoles. The fact that they'd allow one company to have rights and not the other means they anticipate the Microsoft sales to be negligible or the Sony sales to simply outshine Microsoft's by that much.

    Either way, the decision was most likely based upon an analysis of Microsoft's business practices and not necessarily the consoles themselves.
  • Auverin Morrow
    Commissioning Editor
    I doubt that Sony is going to try to get Microsoft in trouble for doing this. Back when the new consoles had just been revealed, and Sony ran all those hilarious ads poking fun at some of Xbox One's more...controversial...features, Microsoft took the humorous jab with a certain amount of grace. I'm hoping that Sony will return the favor here.
  • Auverin Morrow
    Commissioning Editor
    Not to mention how poorly it would reflect on Sony as a company for them to throw a hissy fit about it.
  • Travis McGee
    Featured Correspondent
    That's true. I don't expect it will really become a big deal, but this does seem to me to somewhat ignore Sony's acquisition of exclusive advertising rights from Activision.
  • Brian_2906
    No it wouldn't. This story reflects poorly on Microsoft though. They always get these deals for Activision games and Sony doesn't have a hissy fit. Sony get a deal though and Microsoft acts like a huge baby. Whoever made this lame ad should be called out and fired.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Harsh haha. Idk, I like the move, it's clever and funny. Like Auverin was saying, it's not like Sony was playing very fair with their advertising immediately following next-gen announcements at E3. They were blatantly taking shots at Microsoft, didn't see Microsoft flaming Sony. Not even with PS2 vs Xbox or PS3 vs 360, I don't remember any Microsoft flaming.
  • Auverin Morrow
    Commissioning Editor
    What you have to remember, though, is that Sony's marketing campaign and launch for the PS4 turned a lot of people away from Microsoft. That put a huge dent in their sales. And now, Sony has exclusive ad rights to a game that has blown up and been in all the headlines - and people are thinking it's a PS4 exclusive. Another hit to Microsoft's sales. They had to figure something out if they didn't want to see a bigger drop in sales.
  • Liam_5029
    Well played Mr Gates? Where have you been he hasn't been at the helm of MS for a long time.
  • Travis McGee
    Featured Correspondent
    Good catch! I'm behind the times on the current command of Microsoft. Fixing now.

Cached - article_comments_article_16332
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