Today is the day of Sonic’s 25th Birthday, leading to Arron Weber (Ruby Eclipse on Twitter) talking to Verge about how he was signed on to become the mind behind Sonic’s Social Media Coverage and more. It is a great interview and you can read the full interview at the source link.
Source: The Verge
Was it Sega in general that you were a fan of, or were you into Sonic specifically as well?
I was definitely a Sonic fan, too. I played a ton of Sonic stuff — Adventure was the only game I had on my Dreamcast for a little while when I first got it. Everything Sega for me was key. I loved the marketing that they did, I loved all of the consoles that they had, and I had pretty much every Sonic game on the main consoles. Not as many of the Game Gear titles.
What was your initial vision for the Twitter account when you first started working on it? Did you see it like it is today?
I actually left Sega in 2014. Then, when Sega decided to downsize and move to Los Angeles and Sega of America kind of restarted and made a new Sonic team, they asked me if I would come back to manage the social media side of things. So I had a look at it, and to be honest, it was kind of boring. A lot of the posts were very comfortable, very corporate, very bland marketing. Buy this, support this, check this out. I felt like Sonic’s attitude wasn’t there. Sonic and Sega, especially in the ‘90s, had such a signature attitude, and that’s what made them stand out so much. They were the antithesis of the safe Mario brand.
I decided to test the waters a bit by posting some funny stuff, as opposed to just trying to promote products or trying push marketing things — just have some fun with it and engage with fans in ways that maybe they weren’t expecting. I didn’t know what the response would be, I was a little bit nervous at first about it. But the reaction that we ended up getting was very good, and so that ended up growing the direction that we went in, and the signature attitude that Sonic has had came back a little bit.
Did you have to change much? Did you find that the sort of very ‘90s, edgy mentality worked now?
Sonic was kind of like the sarcastic character, but still the hero, and it was pretty easy to adapt that to today’s stuff. But whereas they might’ve used really interesting ads back then, today we might reference memes or things in internet culture that you wouldn’t expect a company or a corporate brand to use. For me, it was really about letting [fans] know that we’re not some faceless, big-name company out here. We’re people, and on the other end here are more people that get you and appreciate your concerns and your comments, and who are really striving to improve this and make it as good as we can. I wanted to make that come across. Hopefully it has a little bit since then.
Is it just you tweeting or is there a team?
We’ve got a team. A lot of the stuff is planned out ahead of time, and we’ll look at things and say, “Hey, let’s do a cool post for this,” or “Let’s reference this.” Holidays and big things coming up we plan stuff around. And then there’s also the reactive side of things, too, which is where we try to adapt to things that are currently going on in internet culture, or things that are happening in the moment. And that’s, in my opinion, equally important because a lot of that stuff is really key, you can never plan for it, you can never know what to expect.