Not much to say about 5e yet, but a few of the marketing decisions WotC has made have caught my attention.
First, we had the Big Media Blitz: articles in the NYT, Forbes, and CNN as well as more industry-focused outlets like The Escapist. The nameplates are enough to make it clear that this is "serious news." But the content of the articles is very interesting. They're mostly written in a first-person editorial style. Even the NYT article, probably the most traditional in tone, completely lacks the usual corp-speak infested press release we've come to expect from this sort of thing.
Mingled with the Big News folks were bloggers like Dave Chalker enlisted to spread the word on the 'nets. Phase Two begins at the D&D Experience convention where Dave and the Chatty DM will apparently be running demo adventures for the new edition. Follow up comes through using the weekly Encounters program to get the new rules out there for folks to playtest.
So it's a one-two-three punch combination: Big News media outlets, the D&D blogging community, and the FLGS network. It's very corp-light, very friendly, and at least feels very interactive. It includes people many of us already have relationships with (if only as regular readers and shoppers). And WotC's out-of-pocket costs are primarily made up of flying people out to Seattle and putting them up in a hotel.
Even the apparent fumble of a lack of an announcement on the front of the official D&D web page makes this feel like a friendly, come-around-the-back-door invitation, rather than a proclamation from on high.
Making WotC seem friendly and approachable would seem a Herculean task. Doing it on a shoestring budget smacks of genius.
Somebody involved in this project clearly knows what they are doing.