Sony's at it again...

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Goro, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Goro

    Goro Guest

    Is there anything they won't do?


    Seeking to market its handheld game device to hip city dwellers, Sony
    has hired graffiti artists in major urban areas to spray-paint
    buildings with simple, totemic images of kids playing with the gadget.
    But the guerrilla marketing gambit appears to be drawing scorn from
    some of the street-savvy hipsters it's striving to win over.

    Coming on the heels of widely publicized news that Sony music CDs
    infected customers' computers with security-hole-inducing spyware, the
    campaign for the PlayStation Portable is being derided on the internet
    as an attempt to buy the credibility of street art.
    * Story Images

    Click thumbnails for full-size image:
    After inserting the word 'Fony' into the ad, this commenter says he or
    she would rather ride a geeky, foldable British bicycle or do obscene
    things to a mime than buy a Sony product. Two kids savoring their Sony
    PSPs overlook San Franciscans entering and exiting the heart of the
    city on a new highway ramp at Market and Octavia streets.An anonymous
    neighbor writes over a Sony ad on the side of a Mission corner
    store.Wheat-pasted Sony advertisements outside Zeitgeist, a popular
    motorcylist bar in San Francisco, are labeled 'Advertising directed at
    your counter culture.'
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    In San Francisco, critics have expressed their disapproval by adding
    some spray paint of their own to the Sony ads. On a wall outside a beer
    garden in San Francisco's bohemian Mission District that caters to
    motorcyclists and bike messengers, someone spray-painted over every
    character, adding the commentary, "Advertising directed at your

    Outside Casa Maria, a small Mission bodega, someone wrote, "Get out of
    my city," added the word "Fony" to the graffiti and penned a four-line
    ditty slamming Sony.

    Other cities targeted in the campaign include New York, Chicago,
    Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami, according to Sony
    spokeswoman Molly Smith.

    The advertising, based on original artwork commissioned by Sony's ad
    agency, features a collection of dizzy-eyed urban kids playing with the
    PSP as if it were a skateboard, a paddle or a rocking horse, but
    doesn't include the word Sony or PSP anywhere.

    When asked about the criticism, Smith countered that art is subjective
    and that both the content and the medium dovetailed with Sony's belief
    that the PSP is a "disrupter product" that lets people play games, surf
    the internet and watch movies wherever they want.

    "With PSP being a portable product, our target is what we consider to
    be urban nomads, people who are on the go constantly," Smith said.

    Floyd Hayes, the head creative director at Cunning Work, which
    specializes in nontraditional marketing campaigns such as promoting a
    Sci-Fi Channel TV show about the Bermuda triangle through reward signs
    (.jpg) for a missing sock, doesn't disapprove of the campaign, though
    he thinks the seemingly hypnotized kids in the artwork might send the
    wrong message about the PSP's thrill factor.

    But Hayes doesn't think Sony has crossed any lines with the faux street
    art. "Sony and PSP have every right to use this type of media," Hayes
    said. "They have done it for (a) very long time very successfully and
    spoke the language of the streets without being patronizing."

    Piers Fawkes, who runs the IF blog that focuses on new currents in
    marketing, also liked the campaign.

    "It's a cheeky wink toward a savvy audience who are already familiar
    with the product," Fawkes said. "It's reflective of modern approach to
    marketing. The creative classes are sick of marketing when done badly
    or blandly, but when it's done in (an) intelligent manner, we
    appreciate it."

    Fawkes questioned whether the backlash was very widespread.

    "I wonder if that's a San Francisco phenomenon," Fawkes said. "I know
    there's certain mindset there."

    Sony isn't the first corporation to use graffiti and stencils to market
    its products. In 2001, IBM paid Chicago and San Francisco more than
    $120,000 in fines and clean-up costs after its advertising agency
    spray-painted Linux advertisements on the cities' sidewalks.

    Unlike IBM, however, Sony says it's paying businesses and building
    owners for the right to graffiti their walls.

    Casa Maria was paid $100 for two weeks' use of its wall, according to
    co-owner Mario Arana.
    Goro, Dec 5, 2005
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  2. Goro

    Howard Guest

    "Goro" <> wrote in news:1133816946.448606.43120

    > Is there anything they won't do?

    You mean other than pull their heads out of their rears?
    Howard, Dec 6, 2005
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