Last month, the mobile game Pokémon Masters underwent some changes. In addition to new story events and trainer pairings, it also received a new name: Pokémon Masters EX. But we’re not here to talk about any of that. We’re here to talk about how the game is getting promoted on Twitter, chiefly through a hashtag gone wrong: #PokemonMastersEX. (You see the problem.)
The official Pokémon Masters EX Twitter account has regularly used the hashtag, albeit with that proper capitalisation, since an August 25 post announcing the update. This latest surge of buzz seems tied to a poll asking followers of the official account to cast votes for which in-game characters should receive a stat boost. But, since Twitter groups capitalised and uncapitalised hashtags together, all of the official posts are paired with stuff like, well, this:
— Mari (@stogbulb) September 1, 2020
— toes (@UndercoverCatto) September 1, 2020
Or whatever this is:
— Roald from Animal Crossing (@AC_Roald) September 1, 2020
As of this morning, #pokemonmastersex was trending in the United States with more than 60,000 tweets, many of which are suggestive in nature — a far cry from the G-rated nature of Pokémon. Whoops!
The snafu is reminiscent of some prior marketing decisions gone wrong. Who Represents, the database for talent and entertainment industry professional reps, infamously registered its domain as whorepresents.com. (If you don’t see it, we can’t help you.) Legendarily, the Mole Station Native Nursery, an Australian tree farm, initially housed its website on molestationnursery.com. It’s since switched to a more appropriate URL. (The original unfortunate domain is currently up for grabs.)
Or, to take it from this post, it’s all just part of some master plan to generate buzz:
— Zamazenta Holding Stuff (@ZamazentaHolds) September 1, 2020
Who are we to argue with Zamazenta?