If you’ve ever had a great idea for something and you’ve wanted to take it to market, you’ve probably needed to think of a name and a strapline to go with it. You’ve no doubt seen this on the Apprentice or Dragons Den. It’s pretty tricky, which is probably why big companies pay big money for marketing executives. Except for this one company…
One company has had enough of their execs spending obscene amounts of money and having nothing to show for it. The CEO famously kicked them all out, yelling as they went “a bunch of gorillas could do your work!” In this game, YOU are the gorillas and you need to be aggressive in your marketing strategies. Here we go, it’s time for Gorilla Marketing.
Give Me The Elevator Pitch…
In this game, players each have a dry-erase flip pad and a pen. These are needed to write out the ideas you have coming up. Between yourselves, pick a category, like a food truck, and then each player rolls one of the lettered dice to narrow down their category. We’ll stick with the food truck because that’s the one I’ve played.
So, you get options such as Chinese or American or Cajun. That’s the project you are in charge of, and the other players are your team. Pass your pad around to the left. Your challenge is to name that project. Pick one player to be the “active player,” and they then draw then roll a die from the bag. They keep doing this until there are either two dice with red faces on them or four dice total. (In my experience, both happen at the same time a lot.)
These letters are the initials each word of the title must start with. You can add as many conjunctive words like “to” and “the” to the title to make it a little easier. Once you’ve done that, mark the little tab with a cross and pass it along to the next player. You should then have a new topic and eventually new letters.
Once your pad returns to you, you then will roll two more dice, referring to the round categories for the criteria for your grading. Pick one, then evaluate the answers against that criteria. The winning selection gets written at the top of your board and the writer gets a banana!
In the second round, you’re doing exactly the same thing, except you’re now making the tag line for the chosen name. At the end of this round, tally your bananas (sorry) and whoever has the most bananas wins!
This is a really neat take on the “impress the judge” mechanic, who is not one that I especially enjoy that often. There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Funemployed is one of my favourites of that style because there’s a good element of roleplaying you can choose to throw in (and I usually play with a bunch of D&D players so there’s going to be roleplaying).
I like the fact that each board has a different character and each character has a personality. That personality is shown by the (sometimes inuendo laced) quotes from each of the apes.
I did find that people got confused when we played this but I’m putting that down to my explaining and the fact it was late when we started. And be aware that certain letters are almost certain to get profanity, which if you’re in to, great!
It would be very easy to house rule it to not include swearing, but for our group, it was fine and made it quite an enjoyable experience. I think the set-up of the categories is excellent, especially when it comes to the categories.
I do think that the scoring by the goals is a little redundant because most of the time, we’re going for the one which was funniest or sounded best for the theme, which makes it more subjective. It’s up to you how you want to play it though, and Roxley does acknowledge that in the rules.
I had a lot of fun with Gorilla Marketing, even though it had sat on my shelf for a couple of years. It really needed a group atmosphere to play properly, and for everyone to be prepared to not take things too seriously.
It’s a good game for the creatives and the linguists, which is always a hoot. You can get stuck when you get a Q in the middle of a sentence but at least everyone is getting the same letters. Have some fun with it, but no monkey business!